›Workshop on Golden Spike Human Lunar Expeditions: Opportunities for Intensive Lunar Scientific Exploration
Commercial spaceflight is rapidly beginning to impact capabilities for scientific research in numerous ways, including commercial suborbital spaceflight, commercial robotic lunar missions, and commercial near-Earth asteroid (NEA) exploration.
In late 2012, the Golden Spike Company, consisting of space professionals and numerous veteran NASA engineers and executives, announced plans to mount a series of commercial human lunar expeditions in the 2020s, primarily for space and science agencies in countries around the world.
Each Golden Spike expedition will place an exploration crew of two individuals at a customer-selected site on the lunar nearside for a period of 1.5–2 days, like early Apollo “H” missions. Each expedition will also be able to deliver scientific exploration equipment and experiments to the lunar surface, and to return many kilograms of samples to Earth.
The goals of this workshop are to provide a detailed overview of Golden Spike expedition capabilities to the worldwide lunar science community, and to seek feedback and input on science and exploration priorities and associated landing sites, surface experiment packages, and sample return requirements.
The meeting will also explore desired future capabilities for more advanced Golden Spike missions, and the synergistic roles of Golden Spike human expeditions and robotic exploration missions.