BOULDER, CO, October 23, 2013 (Golden Spike PR) – A two-day workshop led by Golden Spike—the world’s first company planning to undertake human lunar expeditions for countries and corporations around the world—attracted scientists from four continents who proposed exciting new human Moon mission concepts.
The workshop, held at the Lunar and Planetary Science Institute in Houston, Texas, focused on landing sites, sample returns, and aspirations of the international lunar scientific community.
The aim of the event was to communicate the planned capabilities of Golden Spike’s planned lunar expeditions and receive feedback from the international scientific community. Workshop sponsors included the Northrop Grumman Corporation, the Southwest Research Institute, the Space Frontier Foundation, and the University Space Research Association.
Among the new concepts advanced were robotic-human missions where a country could send its own rover to collect and store samples from the Moon’s surface ahead of a crewed Golden Spike expedition to retrieve the robot’s cache. A Golden Spike lander would later touch down on the lunar surface near the rover. The crew would also conduct Moon walks nearby to explore, sample, and experiment. This new Golden Spike concept allows the sample return to be more extensive, since it includes samples collected by the rover from miles (kilometers) away. It also gives a county’s national space program an expanded role by having to develop their own lander/rover.
“Golden Spike received great feedback regarding scientific priorities for our lunar expeditions from researchers from across the world, which is already informing our business model and helping us create new products to offer in our lunar expeditions line.” said Dr. Alan Stern, CEO of Golden Spike.
Professor Mahesh Anand of the The Open University in the United Kingdom added, “There is no match for the scientific return from human exploration of the Moon, and there are more outstanding (research) questions today than any other time in the past.”
Lunar scientist Clive Neal, of the University of Notre Dame concluded: “Golden Spike’s workshop demonstrated a different and fiscally viable approach to getting back to the Moon after an absence of more than 40 years. Golden Spike will not only enable lunar science, it will open up this frontier to many more nations.”
Golden Spike expects to host future forums with the international lunar scientific community, beginning at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston in March, 2014.
About Golden Spike: The Golden Spike Company (GSC) is a US-based commercial space company incorporated in 2010 with the objective of providing human exploration expeditions to the Moon for counties, corporations, and individuals. Golden Spike named after the ceremonial final spike that joined the rails of the first transcontinental railroad across the United States on May 10, 1869, and opened up the North American frontier to new opportunities. Similarly, Golden Spike plans to break new ground and create an enduring link to the lunar frontier, providing regular and reliable expeditions to the Moon at prices comparable to flagship robotic missions. For more information, go to www.goldenspikecompany.com.