The Golden Spike Company—the firm that has announced plans to send small-scale crewed missions to the Moon—is in need of a little help. The company has decided to raise some of the funds needed to support their objectives on the crowd-funding website, Kickstarter.com.
Starting last week, Golden Spike began a ten-week campaign to raise $240,000—one dollar for each mile between the Earth and the Moon.
The company has expressed its hope that this effort will raise public awareness about Golden Spike’s ambitions. Golden Spike was founded by several well-known figures in the space arena. It is led primarily by Dr. Alan Stern, the principal investigator of NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto.
Other notable individuals involved with The Golden Spike Company include former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich; Gerry Griffin, the former director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center Texas; as well as Homer Hickham and former NASA Shuttle Program Director Wayne Hale.
Northrop Grumman is one of the companies that is currently working with The Golden Spike Company to develop one of the concepts for the company’s lunar lander. Golden Spike is looking into employing launch vehicles from companies such as Space Exploration Technologies, or “SpaceX,” and United Launch Alliance.
“Our main purpose is twofold: to raise funds to begin some innovative public outreach/media efforts, and to demonstrate that there is an audience that will spend money to see spaceflight activities, as they would to see sports or other entertainment,” Stern said via email.
Stern spoke with AmericaSpace about the company’s ambitions, as well as to dispel the misconception that the company is based on a space tourism model. Golden Spike, in actuality, is focused on empowering nations who wish to send crews to the Moon, but lack the ability to do so on their own.