Northrop Grumman will design Golden Spike Company’s lunar lander.  For more details see the article in AmericaSpace.org,  http://www.americaspace.org/?p=29596
THE GOLDEN SPIKE COMPANY ANNOUNCES NORTHROP GRUMMAN UNDER STUDY CONTRACT FOR LUNAR LANDER DESIGN
 BOULDER, CO. (January 3, 2013) – The Golden Spike Company announced today that it has entered into a contract with Northrop Grumman Corporation for the design of a new lunar lander that fits within Golden Spike’s “head start” commercial lunar architecture.
Northrop Grumman’s participation brings heritage lunar engineering expertise to Golden Spike. Northrop Grumman is a major aerospace and defense contractor. Its legacy companies — Grumman and TRW — designed and built the Lunar Module and Lunar Module Descent Engines for the Apollo moon landing missions that between 1969 and 1972 ferried a crew of two astronauts from lunar orbit to the lunar surface and back again six times.
Golden Spike debuted last month as the first commercial aerospace company planning to offer routine exploration expeditions to the surface of the Moon by the end of the decade. The company aims to use existing rockets and emerging commercial-crew spacecraft to allow nations, individuals and corporations to mount their own lunar expeditions. The lander is the only significant hardware that needs to be designed from the ground up.
"This is a significant step forward in our plans,” said Golden Spike’s Board Chairman, Gerry Griffin. “Northrop Grumman brings Golden Spike a unique body of knowledge and skills as the only company to ever build a successful human-rated lunar lander, the Apollo Lunar Module.”
Dr. S. Alan Stern, Golden Spike’s President and CEO, added: “We’re very proud to be working with Northrop Grumman, which has the most experience and successful performance record for human lunar lander designs in the world.”
Among the tasks Northrop Grumman will perform for Golden Spike are:
Reviewing requirements and synthesizing a set of study ground rules and assumptions emphasizing system reliability, automated/ground command operability, and affordability
Establishing velocity (Δv) budgets from and to low lunar orbit for pragmatic lunar landing sites
Exploring a wide variety of Lunar Lander concept options, including staging, propellants, engines, reusability, autonomy, systems capabilities for exploration, as well as landing site flexibility
Establishing the design trade space and establish pragmatic limits for future more detailed analysis and development
“This study is one of a number of initial studies we’re undertaking to begin creating the design requirements and specs for the lander contract competition we expect to hold to select a Golden Spike lander for flight development,” said Golden Spike’s Lunar Lander Systems Study (LLaSS) engineering chief, James R. French.
Golden Spike predicts its customers will want to explore the Moon for varying reasons—scientific exploration and discovery, national prestige, commercial development, marketing, entertainment, and even personal achievement. Market studies by the company show the possibility of 15-25 or more expeditions in the decade following a first landing.

Northrop Grumman will design Golden Spike Company’s lunar lander.  For more details see the article in AmericaSpace.org,  http://www.americaspace.org/?p=29596

THE GOLDEN SPIKE COMPANY ANNOUNCES NORTHROP GRUMMAN UNDER STUDY CONTRACT FOR LUNAR LANDER DESIGN

 BOULDER, CO. (January 3, 2013) – The Golden Spike Company announced today that it has entered into a contract with Northrop Grumman Corporation for the design of a new lunar lander that fits within Golden Spike’s “head start” commercial lunar architecture.

Northrop Grumman’s participation brings heritage lunar engineering expertise to Golden Spike. Northrop Grumman is a major aerospace and defense contractor. Its legacy companies — Grumman and TRW — designed and built the Lunar Module and Lunar Module Descent Engines for the Apollo moon landing missions that between 1969 and 1972 ferried a crew of two astronauts from lunar orbit to the lunar surface and back again six times.

Golden Spike debuted last month as the first commercial aerospace company planning to offer routine exploration expeditions to the surface of the Moon by the end of the decade. The company aims to use existing rockets and emerging commercial-crew spacecraft to allow nations, individuals and corporations to mount their own lunar expeditions. The lander is the only significant hardware that needs to be designed from the ground up.

"This is a significant step forward in our plans,” said Golden Spike’s Board Chairman, Gerry Griffin. “Northrop Grumman brings Golden Spike a unique body of knowledge and skills as the only company to ever build a successful human-rated lunar lander, the Apollo Lunar Module.”

Dr. S. Alan Stern, Golden Spike’s President and CEO, added: “We’re very proud to be working with Northrop Grumman, which has the most experience and successful performance record for human lunar lander designs in the world.”

Among the tasks Northrop Grumman will perform for Golden Spike are:

  • Reviewing requirements and synthesizing a set of study ground rules and assumptions emphasizing system reliability, automated/ground command operability, and affordability
  • Establishing velocity (Δv) budgets from and to low lunar orbit for pragmatic lunar landing sites
  • Exploring a wide variety of Lunar Lander concept options, including staging, propellants, engines, reusability, autonomy, systems capabilities for exploration, as well as landing site flexibility
  • Establishing the design trade space and establish pragmatic limits for future more detailed analysis and development

“This study is one of a number of initial studies we’re undertaking to begin creating the design requirements and specs for the lander contract competition we expect to hold to select a Golden Spike lander for flight development,” said Golden Spike’s Lunar Lander Systems Study (LLaSS) engineering chief, James R. French.

Golden Spike predicts its customers will want to explore the Moon for varying reasons—scientific exploration and discovery, national prestige, commercial development, marketing, entertainment, and even personal achievement. Market studies by the company show the possibility of 15-25 or more expeditions in the decade following a first landing.

I have to admit Space.com has done the best job in demonstrating how Golden Spike Company is going carry out its mission. http://www.space.com/18805-golden-spike-private-moon-landing-graphic.html

I have to admit Space.com has done the best job in demonstrating how Golden Spike Company is going carry out its mission. http://www.space.com/18805-golden-spike-private-moon-landing-graphic.html

The Golden Spike Company’s website just went live.  It has a wealth of info from the press event at the National Press Club announcement on 12/06/12.  CM was able to sneak into the room and is giving me the play by play with pics via text. I’ll post them soon.  Golden Spike Company website URL is http://goldenspikecompany.com/

The Golden Spike Company’s website just went live.  It has a wealth of info from the press event at the National Press Club announcement on 12/06/12.  CM was able to sneak into the room and is giving me the play by play with pics via text. I’ll post them soon.  Golden Spike Company website URL is http://goldenspikecompany.com/

Golden Spike Company is the new private sector business going to the moon in 2020.  Tomorrow this group of private space industrialists will announce plans for routine travel and expeditions on the moon. The team appears to have the money and know-how for just such a venture.
Rumors show ties to former NASA and SpaceX designers and engineers. Funding seems to come from large investors in the Middle East with a bidding war of up to $5B to be the first lunar tourist.
I read on other blog this is a Saudi project put together by Esther Dyson with Alan Stern, Doug Griffith and Daid Lackner. It’s one Golden Spike of a deal. 
I’m told this image will be used at the press announcement in Washington DC. 

Golden Spike Company is the new private sector business going to the moon in 2020.  Tomorrow this group of private space industrialists will announce plans for routine travel and expeditions on the moon. The team appears to have the money and know-how for just such a venture.

Rumors show ties to former NASA and SpaceX designers and engineers. Funding seems to come from large investors in the Middle East with a bidding war of up to $5B to be the first lunar tourist.

I read on other blog this is a Saudi project put together by Esther Dyson with Alan Stern, Doug Griffith and Daid Lackner. It’s one Golden Spike of a deal. 

I’m told this image will be used at the press announcement in Washington DC. 

Thanks Chuck for sending this message and flight plan image our way.
In as many years as it took to build the transcontinental railroad the new US based  commercial space firm will take its first passengers to the moon. I’ve attached a redacted copy of their flight plan acquired by a friend of mine. I wonder where they will nail in the golden spike.
My friend is also telling me the initial test launch is targeted to take place in 2017 with first manned flight in 2021.  He says they have enough customers already lined up for annual flights through 2030. Like the first transcontinental rail trip some of the world’s wealthiest elite are buying tickets rumored to start at $5B. 
On a related note, GoldenSpaceMan, is saying there is a press release going out from this new company by end of the week.  I’ve also found their website but its password protected I’ll post a link as soon as I crack their code.

Thanks Chuck for sending this message and flight plan image our way.

In as many years as it took to build the transcontinental railroad the new US based  commercial space firm will take its first passengers to the moon. I’ve attached a redacted copy of their flight plan acquired by a friend of mine. I wonder where they will nail in the golden spike.

My friend is also telling me the initial test launch is targeted to take place in 2017 with first manned flight in 2021.  He says they have enough customers already lined up for annual flights through 2030. Like the first transcontinental rail trip some of the world’s wealthiest elite are buying tickets rumored to start at $5B. 

On a related note, GoldenSpaceMan, is saying there is a press release going out from this new company by end of the week.  I’ve also found their website but its password protected I’ll post a link as soon as I crack their code.

Moon will soon have more than one country’s flag

I’ve learned new details about the company that plans to start lunar expeditions by 2020. Part of the experience package includes staking a land claim on the moon with a flag stake ceremony.  Soon for just over $2 billion any country or individual can place their flag on the moon.  An insider says bids for the placing the first flag are nearing the $10B mark. I am hearing the Saudi Royal family is the first client that they invested heavily just to be the next country to have a flag on the moon. Maybe they hope to spike it rich and find black gold up there.

We are just a few days away from the announcement in Washington.

US and Russia going to the moon

It sounds like SpaceX is not the only heavy lift lunar contender. The US based space exploration company made up of former NASA engineers are working with Ken Bowersoxto negotiate a deal with Russia for use of Soyuz services of a manned lunar lander that is currently in design.  This begs the question if the Russians lift it who is credited with the trip? The first private team of cosmo- astronauts, 1 Russian and 1 American plan for initial test launch by 2021. Look for more details in December 2012. This sounds like golden opportunity for someone else to walk on the moon.

Alan Stern spotted with investors

A friend said Alan Stern was spotted leaving a project briefing on a new lunar orbital project set to launch in 2020. The meeting was a who’s who of industry leaders that gathered just after ISPCS.  The NASA veteran went into private sector around 2008 working with a group on the Lunar X Prize. He seems to be teaming up with other players now with some big plans for 2018 to be announced in December. Other meeting attendees included: Gerry Griffin a former Apollo Flight Director, Cynthia Conrad who until recently worked in planetary exploration at NASA,  Esther Dyson a trained Russian cosmonaut, Jim French a systems expert and attorney Doug Griffith.  That group sounds like the making of something big. 

$120 million lunar lander heavy lift deal signed

I’ve heard, from a reliable source, a heavy lift deal was just signed with SpaceX for use of Falcon 9 Heavy as the launch vehicle to carry an new lunar orbiter. The lander, designed for both payloads and 4 passengers, is now moving off the drawing boards and into prototyping.  The deal calls for $80 million upfront with the first 4 investors putting up $10 million each. 

To the Moon for under $2B

A US company is planning payload and manned lunar tips for under $2B per expedition.  A page of the business plan shows an impressive investment team and list of targeted customers in Europe and Middle East. Expect to see an official announcement soon. Richard Branson and Warren Buffet are along with Guy Laliberté alleged to be two of the key investors