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KM, Russia

US Promised to Organize Expeditions
to the Moon for $1.5 Billion Each

Translated By Olga Azarian

7 December 2012

Edited by Kyrstie Lane

Russia - KM - Original Article (Russian)

Private American company Golden Spike announced its intention to establish manned expeditions to the moon by 2020. A source told reporters from Wired magazine that one flight would cost the company's client $1.5 billion.

According to Golden Spike officials, some of them former NASA specialists and managers, they envision their clients to be not only wealthy space tourists but also government and state officials.

In other words, the company has decided to adopt the Russian business model from the 1980s and ‘90s, when astronauts from different countries could, for a fee, go to the station Mir and work there for a while. According to the company's representatives, China is one of their potential customers. It is expected that the expedition will be designed for a crew of two.

Golden Spike officials estimate the cost of the launch of this project at about $8.7 billion. That is how much will be needed for the development of the spacecraft, lunar spacesuits and testing. At the same time, to reduce costs the company plans to collaborate with Masten Space Systems, which specializes in building spacecraft, and Paragon Space Development, who will design the suits and life support systems.

Experts in the space field are very skeptical of Golden Spike’s idea and consider the project budget unrealistic. However, they stress that the lunar program Apollo, by today's standards, was worth much more: $110 billion.

Apollo was NASA's third human spaceflight program and the only one in which they carried out manned missions beyond low Earth orbit and the landing of humans on another celestial body. It is worth noting that the fact of U.S. astronauts landing on the moon, as well as photos and videos depicting this process, has been the source of many disputes.



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