Sunday, June 30, 2013

PayPal: Outer Space Is Its Next Frontier

Tourists may someday follow in astronaut Eugene Cernan's footsteps on the moon from 1972.
Tourists may someday follow in astronaut Eugene Cernan's footsteps on the moon from 1972. / NASA/Harrison H. Schmitt

 Space architect John Spencer has a grand vision for the future of space travel -- one with luxury space yachts and hotels, and dune buggy racing on the moon. 

"The more people who go, the more diversity, the more things you can do -- the more they need to buy goods and services," he said. "It's limited to what they can do now because of the cost and limited time on board the space system, but that's going to grow as we have more facilities and more people."  

PayPal CEO David Marcus said there has yet to be a discussion about how people will make payments from space. Currently, NASA provides a team of people to help astronauts pay for bills and make purchases while they are traveling in space, according to Marcus.

"There's about a thousand people on Earth, literally a thousand people, who look after the astronaut on the ground," he said.

Though the satellites that help us make those payments electronically are located in space, it's not as simple as people may think and there are a lot of questions, Marcus said. Companies still need to develop a process and governments need to decide on regulations and what unit of currency space travelers will use.

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Source: CBS News.

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