Boulder-based company plans to offer private trips to moon in 2020

Neil Armstrong stands with the U.S. flag on the moon. A Boulder-based company plans to have the capacity to take you to see it by 2020. (Photo: NASA History Office)

Neil Armstrong stands with the U.S. flag on the moon. A Boulder-based company plans to have the capacity to take you to see it by 2020. (Photo: NASA History Office)

Neil Armstrong stands with the U.S. flag on the moon. A Boulder-based company plans to have the capacity to take you to see it by 2020. (Photo: NASA History Office)

Neil Armstrong stands with the U.S. flag on the moon. A Boulder-based company plans to have the capacity to take you to see it by 2020. (Photo: NASA History Office)

BOULDER — Boulder-based aerospace company Golden Spike Co. may be in its infancy, but that hasn’t stopped it from making some pretty big plans.

According to the Boulder Canyon Business Report, the startup announced on Thursday that it is planning to send a privately-funded spacecraft to the moon by 2020. After that first expedition, the company is planning to offer similar space expeditions on a consistent basis to anyone who can pony up the dough.

How much, you ask? The first mission is expected to cost between $7 and $8 billion. Each mission after that is expected to cost around $1.4 billion.

President and chief executive Alan Stern is heading up the company that is setting its sights on these lofty goals. He’s the former chief of NASA’s space and earth science programs and has directed 93 flight missions, receiving more than 3,000 research grants to do so.

Stern had a $4.4 billion budget at his old gig, and its with that financial experience that he is claiming his new company feels it will see enough interest and funds to direct 20 to 30 lunar missions by 2030.

And Stern said the interest in these missions isn’t just coming from the U.S. He said he’s heard from 15 to 25 nations that have expressed intrigue about his company’s plans.

“We know what we’re doing,” Stern told the Business Report, referencing his “dream team” of NASA veterans, engineers, scientist and advisers who are working with him.

At least one member of that team has been made public. The chairman of the Golden Spike’s board is Gerry Griffin, an Apollo flight director and former director of the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston.


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