A Colorado company run by former NASA managers plans to offer missions to the moon at a cost of about $1.5 billion.
By making use of existing rockets and commercial spaceships already in development, the company expects it will need raise between $7 billion and $8 billion to set up operations, said Alan Stern, a former NASA associate administrator who serves as president and chief executive of Golden Spike.
VIDEO: NASA smashes the LCROSS and spent Centaur rocket into the moon in a search of water.
“There’s a hunger out there for lunar exploration,” Stern told reporters during a press conference on Thursday unveiling the venture.
“We can fly human missions for the cost of a robotics one,” he said.
In addition to wealthy tourists, Golden Spike says its market research identified 25 nations that are in a position to afford and have the desire for lunar expeditions.
Besides selling rides, the company expects to make money with advertising, marketing and media deals, including naming rights for its spaceships and landers.
Depending on how sales go, the company could be ready to fly before the end of the decade.