“The Golden Spike Company invites you to attend a game-changing announcement about the future of commercial human space travel to the Moon,” reads the announcement for the media briefing. ”Executives from the company will describe the team, the mission architecture, and the business model.”
Many questions remain about the prospects for such a mission, including its feasibility, rationale, and how the company intends to fund the endeavor, which will likely run to billions of dollars. Early rumors suggested that backers included Warren Buffet and Richard Branson, though these have since been shown false. The plan may also include a $120 million deal with SpaceX to provide a heavy rocket to reach the moon. SpaceX had no statement about such a deal when Wired reached out to them on Dec. 2.
The Golden Spike Company is registered in Colorado to planetary scientist and aerospace engineer Alan Stern, who ran NASA’s science directorate from 2007 to 2008. Stern also worked in the private spaceflight sector that year, as an independent research representative for Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin. In a 2011 interview he said, “I hope that in 10 to 20 years’ time, we are on the hills of human return to the moon, so that we could then go on with humans to explore the solar system. I think this is our destiny.”