Commercial Spaceflight Federation Announces New Members

csf_logo_newest
Washington D.C.
(CSF PR) – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation announced today that several companies have joined the organization.

“Interest and activity in commercial spaceflight continue to blossom at both traditional and new space companies,” said CSF President Michael Lopez-Alegria. “It is very satisfying to see the Commercial Spaceflight Federation’s membership expand to include such a preponderance of the players in the commercial space panorama.”

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America’s Rocket Renaissance

rutan_talkBy Douglas Messier
Parabolic Arc Managing Editor

During recent public talks, Scaled Composites Founder Burt Rutan has bemoaned the lack of recent rocket development in the United States. After the initial burst of creativity in the 1950’s and 1960’s, decades went by with very few new rockets being developed. He has also pointed to Scaled Composites’ SpaceShipTwo, SpaceX’s Dragon and Stratolaunch Systems air-launch project (which he worked on for 20 years) as the only serious developments in the field at present.

My first thought was: Burt’s wrong. There’s a lot more going on than just that. Including developments just down the flight line in Mojave that he somehow fails to mention. And my second thought was: well, just how wrong is Burt, exactly?

A lot, it turns out.

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Golden Spike Commissions Northrop Grumman for Lunar Lander Design

golden_spike_landerBOULDER, CO., January 3, 2013 (Golden Spike PR) – 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.

Praise for the Golden Spike Company’s Plan

Michael Lopez-Alegria
President, Commercial Spaceflight Federation

“Conquering the space frontier requires leadership at NASA and a partnership between commercial companies and governments,” stated CSF President Michael Lopez-Alegria. “I’m thrilled to see the Golden Spike announcement, which harnesses space leaders with years of experience to launch an exciting new private space venture. In the last few years we’ve learned that commercial space, by speaking to the dreams and aspirations of people around the world, can create new excitement for space travel, bringing us ever closer to our shared goal of sustainably extending human activity beyond Earth.”

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Paragon SDC Building Spacesuits, Life Support System for Golden Spike’s Moon Voyages

WASHINGTON – December 6, 2012 (Paragon PR) – Paragon Space Development Corporation (Paragon) was represented today at the National Press Club in Washington DC for the Golden Spike Company announcement of its intention to provide human expeditions to the Moon on a commercial basis.

Paragon, of Tucson, AZ, is working with Golden Spike to design and provide the space suit systems for lunar surface operations as well as the environmental control and life support systems for the transit spacecraft and lunar lander. The space suit, thermal control and life support technologies will be a mix of systems developed by NASA and industry, providing a safe, robust and low cost, commercial solution for Golden Spike Company.

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Golden Spike Aims to Return Humans to the Moon

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 6, 2012 (Golden Spike PR) -– On the eve of the 40th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 17, the last human exploration of the Moon, Former Apollo Flight Director and NASA Johnson Space Center Director, Gerry Griffin, and planetary scientist and former NASA science chief, Dr. Alan Stern, today unveiled “The Golden Spike Company” – the first company planning to offer routine exploration expeditions to the surface of the Moon.

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Golden Spike Team Includes Technical Experts, Media Figures and Politicians

The Golden Spike Company has an experienced and eclectic group of people involved in its operations. This group ranges from former Apollo Flight Director Gerry Griffin and former space shuttle program chief Wayne Hale to best-selling author Andy Chaikin and Star Trek set designer Mike Okuda.

Silicon Valley venture capitalist Esther Dyson sits on the Board of Directors with NewSpace veterans Taber MacCallum and Max Vozoff. The company’s advisors include astronaut Pete Conrad’s widow Nancy, former Congressmen Newt Gingrich and Bob Walker, and former New Mexico Governor and Spaceport America champion Bill Richardson.

Partner companies include Moon Express, Paragon Space Development Corporation, Masten Space Systems and others.

Complete lists of the company’s team members and partners follows after the break.
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Golden Spike: Routine Trips to the Moon at Inconceivably Low Prices


WASHINGTON, Dec. 5, 2012 (Golden Spike PR) — On the eve of the 40 th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 17, the last human exploration of the Moon, Former Apollo Flight Director and NASA Johnson Space Center Director, Gerry Griffin, and planetary scientist and former NASA science chief, Dr. Alan Stern, will unveil “The Golden Spike Company” – the first company planning to offer routine exploration expeditions to the surface of the Moon by the end of the decade.
The executives will describe its team of leading aerospace engineers and world-class scientists, the mission architecture, and the business model at a media conference at the National Press Club, Bloomberg Room, from 2-3pm on December 6.
The Golden Spike Company is a US-based commercial space company incorporated in 2010. It is 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 frontier to new opportunities.Similarly, Golden Spike intends to break new ground and create an enduring link to the next frontier, providing regular and reliable expeditions to the Moon at prices that are a fraction of any lunar program ever conceived of before.

Golden Spike Looks to Engage Public in Moon Trip


The Golden Spike Company plans to have a very significant public participation role in its plan to return humans to the moon by 2020, according to informed sources.

The goal is to give the general public a ringside seat to not only the flight but also the development and construction of the hardware involved, sources said.
Golden Spike is going to involve a very significant public participation role in the lunar mission.

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Golden Spike to Unveil Plans Next Thursday

Dr. Alan Stern
Dr. Alan Stern

The mysterious Golden Spike Company — which is said to be planning a privately-funded landing on the moon by 2020 — will hold a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., next Thursday, Dec. 6 at 2 p.m. EST.

Despite the company’s attempt to operate in stealth mode, quite a lot seems to be known about its plans.

NASASpaceflight.com, which first broke the news, reports that “the effort is led by a group of high profile individuals from the aerospace industry and backed by some big money and foreign investors.”

A Tumblr account run by an anonymous writer is providing additional details apparently swiped from NASASpaceflight.com’s subscription-only L-2 website. According to the information:

  • Warren Buffet, Richard Branson and Guy Laliberte are reported to be among the investors.
  • The company has signed a $120 million deal for a Falcon Heavy rocket
  • Expeditions to be moon will cost about $2 billion apiece.

UPDATE: Parabolic Arc has learned from informed sources that Richard Branson is NOT involved in the company. Further, virtually all billionaires identified in the media as being investors are not involved. Full details will be available on Thursday.

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Golden Spike Company to Lay Private Tracks for Human Moon Missions

The moon rising over Half Moon Bay, California on Halloween 2009. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

A new private effort focused on getting humans back to the moon by 2020 appears to be led by a Colorado start-up called Golden Spike Company, according to published reports.

S. Alan Stern, the former NASA science chief who now works for the Southwest Research Institute, is the registered agent for the company, which is identified as a foreign corporation in Colorado state records.

NASASpaceflight.com, which first broke the news earlier this week, reports that “the effort is led by a group of high profile individuals from the aerospace industry and backed by some big money and foreign investors”. The company plans to make a formal announcement in December.

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