The Golden Spike Company, a mysterious private firm supposedly backed by playboy billionaires, is plotting a return to the Moon by 2020. A manned return, according to Internet rumors, though nothing has been confirmed. An announcement is allegedly set for this Thursday, Dec. 6.
Hardly anything is known about logistics, but speculation over rumored details is slowly piecing the puzzle together. The highly secretive firm, a motley crew of “high profile individuals from the aerospace industry,” will supposedly enlist existing (or soon to be existing) U.S. launch vehicles, spacecraft, upper stages and technologies to achieve a lunar landing.
The proposed mission plans, as detailed on io9, are as follows: Launch U.S. vehicles into Low Earth Orbit (LEO) that are capable of collectively assembling; stage a small lunar lander, and transport two commercial astronauts to the surface of the moon.
Golden Spike’s reported plan is actually derived from an earlier proposal by a private company of the same name — also backed by respected scientific and astronautical entities — so this could possibly be the very same. Fittingly, the enigmatic firm has even reserved a launch of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy for a tidy $120 million. The Falcon, io9 said, is capable of lifting up to 54 metric tons to LEO, which is perfect for the proposed mission.
The rumored announcement, where all the details will be laid out, is being pegged as a game-changer for the future of commercial human space travel to the Moon. So which one would you rather be on? A trip to Mars with thousands of people? Or a short jaunt to the Moon?