The Apollo 11 lunar module rises from the moon's surface for docking with the command module and the trip back to earth, July 20, 1969. Manned missions to the moon could be planned for as early as 2020. (Photo: AP/NASA)
Just as NASA said last month manned moon missions might not be out of the question in the near future, private entities appear to be moving forward with the venture as well. In fact, a rather secretive mission rumored recently might be coming to light more this week.
The Golden Spike Company, according to Wired, is hosting a press event in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 6 that it says will reveal a "game-changing announcement about the future of commercial human space travel to the Moon.”
The event is expected to detail the team, the mission architecture, and the business model.
The forum on NASASpaceFlight.com a few weeks ago hinted an announcement (via Parabolic Arc) would be coming in early December that would involve a goal of sending humans to the moon by 2020. According to the post, "existing or soon to be existing launch vehicles, spacecraft, upper stages, and technologies” would be used. The post says that these details "point to the specific use of U.S. vehicles."
Here's a little background on the company from Wired:
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.”
The only thing that the National Press Club calendar announcement says of the event is that it's a company debut.
For now we'll wait and see what this company has in store for sending man back to the moon.