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Coming: commercial Moon missions


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#1 DocM

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 00:29

Heads up;

A big announcement may come as early as December that a NewSpace company plans to send commercial astronauts to the Moon by 2020.

The project will be led by several high-profile persons from the aerospace industry and it will have major financial backing, including non-US investors. They intend to use existing or soon to be available launchers, vehicles, technologies and spacecraft.

The leaks indicative they will use US vehicles, multiple launches to assemble the mission transfer vehicle in low Earth orbit, propellant depots and fuel transfer technologies. From there the plan is to park the mission transfer vehicle in lunar orbit, from which 2-person sorties to the lunar surface would be mounted using a lander that is already in development. Eventually a human outpost (read: moon base) would be constructed using inflatable habitats.

Sounds like practice for Mars.


#2 Growled

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 01:59

Sounds like practice for Mars.


Pretty much.

#3 The King of GnG

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 11:33

Meh, so boring and mean. Wake me up when they'll launch the Nostromo ship towards the darkest regions of the galaxy....

#4 Original Poster

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 15:01

I call shotgun

#5 OP DocM

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 20:29

Project name is Golden Spike (a refetence to the ceremonial spike used to complete the American Transcontinental Railroad Link....)

Leaked "involved" list so far -

Wayne Hale: NASA engineer, flight director and Space Shuttle Program Manager, he also served as Deputy Associate Administrator for Strategic Partnerships prior to his retirement in 2010.

Gerry Griffin: former NASA Flight Director during Apollo (12, 15 and 17), then Director of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Tx. Also was Technical Adviser for the films Apollo 13, Contact and Deep Impact.

S. Alan Stern: planetary scientist. Principal Investigator of the New Horizons mission to Pluto (and about 23 other missions) and the Chief Scientist at Moon Express. Executive Director of the Southwest Research Institute's Space Science and Engineering Division until becoming Associate Administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate in 2007. A staunch hawk regarding project budgets he left NASA after a rumored row with former (and in the minds of many, disgraced) NASA Administrator Mike Griffin.

#6 OP DocM

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 22:22

Add Paragon Space Development, which makes environmental and life support systems for SpaceX's crewed Dragon and the Orion NASA Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, and the NASA Constellation next-gen spacesuit. They also have a tech for expandable structures.

#7 neoadorable

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 04:58

YEAAH! This make me so happy Doc! thanks! :punk:
Please keep us posted on this. Though I don't think you mentioned the name of the company?

#8 OP DocM

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 14:12

Rumor mill says Golden Spike Company.

One other unconfirmed person mentioned is Dr. Peter Diamandis, founder of The X-Prize Foundation.