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It is a holiday that is out of this world - two former Nasa executives have teamed up to start a private venture which will send two people to the moon.

The only drawback, the price, which at $1.3bn, is also out of this world and out of orbit of everybody but the extremely wealthy.

The company, Golden Spike, wants to use rocket and capsule technology which already exists and hopes to launch before the year 2020, reports the BBC. It believes it will only need to develop space suits and a new lunar lander.

It is one of a number of firms which hopes to follow in the footsteps of Space X, a private company which has ferried cargo to the International Space Station.

Nasa's last trip to the moon was 40 years ago and there has been little interest since. because of cost.

But former NASA associate administrator Alan Stern, now president of Golden Spike, said the company is targeting governments of other countries, for either scientific research or the prestige of reaching the moon.

Golden Spike, run by former Nasa associate administrator Alan Stern, says it is looking offering voyages to the governments of other countries - such as South Africa, South Korea and Japan - expecting interest for scientific research or national prestige.

Mr Stern said: "It's not about being first. It's about joining the club. We're kind of cleaning up what NASA did in the 1960s. We're going to make a commodity of it in the 2020s."

Golden Spike advisers include Apollo-era flight director Gerry Griffin, a former space shuttle commander, former UN Ambassador Bill Richardson, engineer-author Homer Hickam directors and former House Speaker and space policy enthusiast Newt Gingrich.

However, Harvard University astronomer Jonathan McDowell, is sceptical of another new start-up's chances of success and told Associated Press: "This is unlikely to be the one that will pan out."

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