back to article 2020AD: Space tourists will be FOUND ON MOON

A group of former NASA employees are planning to send two people to the Moon for $1.4bn as part of a new space tourism venture. The newly launched Golden Spike Company wants to use existing rocket tech to get the mission off the ground before 2020. The firm said the time was ripe for their business because of the private …

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How much is it to return?

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Joke

Don't forget luggage allowance and in-flight meals... That'll add to the price.

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and

the $500m 'booking administration fee'

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Meh

All that money to use a portaloo, and you can't even go outside for a barbecue!

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Re: and

"the $500m 'booking administration fee'"

Per person.

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Re: and

""the $500m 'booking administration fee'"

Per person."

Each Way.

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Black Helicopters

Not with Musk now they won't

Now he's jumped into bed with the "black ops" brigade I suspect that soon they [Musk] will announce that they have no capacity for non-military and non-commercial space flights "for the foreseeable future"

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Facepalm

Re: Not with Musk now they won't

No, that would be stupid. The whole point of the exercise is to spread the development and fixed costs among as many customers as possible. The military already has two dedicated lifters with longer and better records than SpaceX. They want the costs, which depend on having non military rockets.

Its not a secret stellite. It's just a kerosene rocket.

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Silver badge

Not too sure that will ever happen. For a start, exploiting the moon for commercial gain without first consulting the rest of the world, and putting a couple of untrained people on the moon to do what they like is likely to lead to all sorts of trouble before you even start.

Financial issues? Solved if they are paying the costs.

Technical issues? Hell, we did it 40+ years ago, there's no reason we can't again. But it's still not safe.

Safety issues? The chances of a remote-controlled moon visit are slim - the burden of a mission is the human-survival element, not who holds the joystick, and that's where most of the cost/problems come from (which is why we stopped doing human visits and starting doing remote-controlled visits in the first place).

Political issues? That's going to be the killer.

In the back of my mind, I'm picturing some rich Russian going up to the Moon and scuffing Armstrong's footprint and replacing the US flag with a Soviet one, but that's probably at the extreme end of the scale. There are any number of ways it could go wrong without there being a single technical hitch. And we've never had a space mission without a single technical hitch, ever.

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Stop

Answers

1) Consulting the world? I was unaware the moon sported a thriving ecosystem, or that the rocket would be chock full of diamonds on the return journey. I thought it was a boring dusty place. It's not like the mission is setting up a mining colony (although that would be cool).

2) Financial issues/technical issues? Fair enough.

3) Not safe? Please sign this waiver after signing your cheque. Or sign them the other way around, we're pretty relaxed about that.

4) Political issues? Given the mess the Chinese and Russians make of their own back yard, I can't see them giving a rat's ass about some dusty footprints on the moon. If they manage to get your Russian billionaire that close to the Apollo 11 landing site, then fair play, but by then it's much too late for the 'merkins to get all huffy.

5) Things will go wrong? No sh*t Sherlock. You pays your money and you takes your chance.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Answers

Not safe? Please sign this waiver after signing your cheque. Or sign them the other way around, we're pretty relaxed about that

Went skiing when living in the US 12 years ago and when I hired ski-equipment I had to sign a declaration which stated that I understood that skiing was dangerous and could lead to serious injury or death! Think the US legal system has already worked out how to deal with the "not safe" issue.

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Happy

Re: Answers

I went shooting in the states and had to sign I wasn't going to commit suicide, shoot someone and was mentally stable in order to sign the agreement.

Covering your ass, you betcha.

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Re: cover your arse

Ever did business with Google? Their contract draft for getting their search engine in our intranet contained a clause that they are not liable for any death caused by their product. It's a piece of software FFS!

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Re: Answers

And don't forget, on your in-flight visa application you had to confirm that you weren't a visiting terrorist either. Not sure if that approach has always worked too reliably though.

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Re: Answers

"I was unaware the moon sported a thriving ecosystem, or that the rocket would be chock full of diamonds on the return journey."

I was thinking more along the lines of international agreements that no nation can claim any part of outer space as their own (own "an acre of Moon land"? I think the UN would disagree), leaving a sterile place sterile, not corrupting it for unnecessary purposes, but even things like not having to prove that said billionaire hasn't stuck something on the moon that another nation doesn't want on there.

When you have the backing of a major world government, and get there first, you can ignore some of those, especially if it comes under the remit of science. When you're an Earth-bound commercial entity reliant on your government to grant licenses for you to even try to get into space, let alone send passengers, and those governments are signed up to certain international "space is not a place for anyone to own, or militarise" treaties, and you run the risk of putting some idiot into space at great ecological cost to the Earth (if nothing else) for no reason than to say hi to his mum, then you have a bigger problem.

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Re: Answers

No nation can claim any part of outer space as their own, true for the time being although I can see that changing or being ignored once we start getting serious about leaving this planet. However as I understand it there's nothing to stop an individual claiming any part of outer space further I don't believe you need to own something to go there, otherwise I'd never go abroad or to my Mum's house.

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FAIL

Re: Answers

@Tim #3

"Er, I ticked 'Yes I am a terrorist' and I meant to tick 'No, I am not a terrorist'. Got any tipp-ex?"

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Re: Answers

"international agreements that no nation can claim any part of outer space as their own"

I think some sort of general consensus on those lines already exists (similair to agreements regarding Anatartcica?) which of course is easy to come by when 'owning' an acre of moon or an asteroid is a moot point. I wonder what will happen when it becomes a real possibility.

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Terminator

Space Law

Requires Space Lawyers!!

And before you scoff there was one on the radio this morning

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Is Delos D Harriman in charge of marketing this?

(FWIW, I really hope that they succeed)

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Joke

Think of the opportunities

The aliens on the dark side of the moon would surely love to give McDonald's and Starbucks a whirl. Also Amazon could set up there as another innovative tax dodge.

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Coat

<SLAP!>*

*Sound of Amazon tax accountant realizing s/he should have thought of that one earlier

That's the funding sorted then ;)

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Childcatcher

How romantic!

I see the ultimate honeymoon package... Where's the dollar sign icon gone?

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Go

Ryan Air Are Doing It For £50

However that is one way, no luggage and oxygen is extra.

After checking in and credit card handling fees the return comes out at a very reasonable £2.1bn

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Joke

Re: Ryan Air Are Doing It For £50

That sounded like a great deal until I realized that the flight actually goes to near the moon, but there is an hourly shuttle service to get you to the actual moon.

*shuttle service, ha ha ha you can't make this shit up

**appears that the shuttle service is no longer viable due to cancellations, so I guess the only moon flight option is easy (ram)jet

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Happy

Re: Ryan Air Are Doing It For £50

The Ryanair Moon flight lands in Florida- near enough to the Moon...

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Re: Ryan Air Are Doing It For £50

You know, it must a dream come true for Ryan Air - finally be able to charge for oxygen too..

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Anonymous Coward

So I know now why they are opposed to the tax hike on the wealthy, they wouldn't be able to pay for their moon trip.

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Pint

It's only for the mega-rich,

But I don't mind that; the thought of them paying to drink their own recycled urine is just too enticing to be worth kicking up a fuss about it.

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Pint

Re: It's only for the mega-rich,

the thought of them paying to drink their own recycled urine

They're used to that with the beer they serve over there..

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Re: It's only for the mega-rich,

That's an insult to recycled urine.

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Coat

Russ Abbott rumoured to be "not in the least bit interested".

Mine's the one with the 7" Atmosphere single in the pocket.

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Coat

The moon is a harsh mistress.

See title.

Mine is the one that is funny sometimes.

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Alert

Needs a rethink

Great, if they can make it work commercially. However, I think the plan to have the nearest available technical expertise 240,000 miles away needs a bit of a rethink. As Lee mentioned above, things can, and will, go wrong, and when they do the end result will be an untrained passenger fumbling around trying to make sense of the instructions radio'd to him/her from Mother Earth. Suddenly people's lives hang on the end of a tech support call.

I predict the potential market for this idea will demand on-board technical skill.

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Re: Needs a rethink

Oh, and the 1.5 second (each way) time lag on that tech support call will seem more like 1.5 years when it's panic stations.

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Nah..

.. they have McGiver..

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Joke

and I hope one of them takes a model of a B52 bomber

and leaves it on there .

just so the Sunday Sport's headline can at last be true.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: and I hope one of them takes a model of a B52 bomber

just so the Sunday Sport's headline can at last be true.

only if they took a lancaster bomber as well!

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Meh

Don't hold your breath

My first impression after looking at their proposal and reading subsequent discussion in various space forums is that this will be the latest in a long line of here today gone tomorrow space ventures that makes a lot of big, appealing claims, drums up a load of media hype and then is scarcely heard from again.

I'm as annoyed as any space nerd that we haven't been back to the moon in 40 years but the idea that these guys are going to start from scratch and get a fully developed lunar transport architecture along the lines of what they're proposing is something that only people who know bugger all about space will swallow. There isn't even a current working US based system to get humans into orbit at the moment and they're going to develop a lunar transfer vehicle and a lunar lander as well? By 2020? Pull the other one!

People will get back to the moon one day but it won't be Golden Spike that gets them there and it certainly won't be happening before 2020!

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Anonymous Coward

"the time is ripe for the business"

Anyone reminded of Magrathea?

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Space tourism ...

... the ultimate tax on the super rich?

They want to enjoy amazing experiences, so they're happy to pay. We want better space infrastructure, so we're happy to oblige. If there's any better form of individual taxation, I'd like to hear it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Space tourism ...

We're paying for it as they're dodging so much tax on their income and their businesses are dodging too.

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Pint

"2020AD"

Yes. It's all perfectly true. Absolutely spot on.

By the way, there's just one small typo. You spelled "2043AD" incorrectly.

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Trollface

Learning to fly a rocket...

...can't be that difficult. It's pretty much the same as riding a bombshell. The only difference is, with the bomb you hope it will explode, with the rocket you hope it won't.

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I just hope ..

.. that "Golden Spike" is not a euphemism for how they will ride it..

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Coat

Re: I just hope ..

".. that "Golden Spike" is not a euphemism for how they will ride it.."

Only if they are Puritans.

Mines the one with the Blackadder II DVD in the pocket.

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Unhappy

Re: I just hope ..

Worse - looking for the "Golden Spike" (or rivet) was the way that new navy cadets were persuaded to bend over the side of the ship. Not sure why they thought it was necessary though...

Phil.

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Paris Hilton

1.6E9US$? Easy!

OK, raising the money is easy:

Kickstarter: Send Beiber and one other annoying "reality" personality to the Moon:

$100 level: We put your name on the scroll we send with them

$500 level: You get to suggest who to send (for each $500 you get one vote).

$10000 level: You get to personally help "verify" the return rockets....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 1.6E9US$? Easy!

Add Tony Blair to the list of people who'll get a one way ticket and I'll donate.

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