Views like this one could soon be greeting some of the world's first 'lunar tourists'. Image Credit: NASA
Moon Express is hoping to be able to send people on trips to the Moon within as little as ten years.
As if venturing to the edge of space aboard one of Virgin Galactic's suborbital space planes wasn't adventurous enough, tourists of the near future may even be able to go to the Moon itself.
Moon Express, a private firm founded back in 2010 by billionaire entrepreneur Naveen Jain, is the only private company to be granted permission by the US Federal Aviation Administration to leave the confines of the Earth and land a spacecraft on the lunar surface.
To accomplish this, the company will be teaming up with SpaceX, the private space firm founded by entrepreneur Elon Musk who has his own ambitions about sending humans to other worlds.
"Mars is absolutely the right place to be ultimately," said Jain. "But (the) moon is the first training ground and the first stepping stone. At the end of the day, we would rather be a lunatic three days away than be a Martian six months away."
"So I really believe the problems living on the moon are similar - the high radiation, vast temperature difference - and if we can solve that problem on the moon we can easily go on living on Mars after."
According to Jain, Moon Express could soon be offering round trips to the Moon for only $10,000.
Whether the firm will actually be able to pull this off however remains to be seen.
Source: Conventry Telegraph | Comments (16)