Newt Ginrich, former Republican House Speaker and apparent space race enthusiast, has offered up a $2 billion prize with Elon Musk loving the idea.
"In the past, putting permanent housing on the moon has been estimated to cost between $50 billion and $500 billion, but several private companies have developed moon programs on their own dime. So we are now in a position to buy transportation and housing from private American companies. At an unbelievable drop in cost."
The $2 billion kitty will be split between the first company to "land a roomy, comfortable human base on the moon," and $1 billion "to the company that can set up and run that base."
Quite obviously every company capable of doing so is attempting both.
Many of the plans overseers have called for the prize to be upwards of $5 billion, however, have settled on the fact that $2 billion is better than $0 billion.
The front runners are obvious:
- Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin
- Lockheed Martin
The POTUS has not given out his opinion on the plan thus far although is expected to be on board due to his continued frustration with NASA being logical and understanding very advanced math.
NASA's similar quest to set up a station orbiting the moon is an estimated $20 billion - $30 billion and has a deadline of 2024.
Only time will tell whether the plan goes ahead.
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