PayPal Galactic Launch Event with Buzz Aldrin

By Chris Dawson June 27, 2013 - 4:47 pm

PayPal GalacticPayPal Galactic launched today, aiming to make universal space payments a reality. The new catch phrase is “We’re everywhere on Earth. Now we’re aiming for the final frontier”.

PayPal President David Marcus and Astronaut and astronaut Buzz Aldrin hosted the launch at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California.

David Marcus“As space tourism programs are opening space travel to ‘the rest of us’ this drives questions about the commercialisation of space. We are launching PayPal Galactic, in conjunction with leaders in the scientific community, to increase public awareness of the important questions that need to be addressed,” said David Marcus, PayPal’s President. “We may not answer these questions today or even this year, but one thing is clear, we won’t be using cash in space. PayPal has already pushed payments into the Internet, onto phones and across terrestrial borders. We look forward to pushing payments from our world to the next, and beyond.”

Buzz Aldrin“Trips to Mars, the moon, even orbit will require we provide astronauts and astro-tourists with as many comforts from home as possible, including how to pay each other,” said Astronaut Buzz Aldrin. “Whether it’s paying a bill, even helping a family member on Earth, we’ll need access to money. I think humans will reach Mars, and I would like to see it happen in my lifetime. When that happens I won’t be surprised if people use PayPal Galactic for the little things and the big ones.”

Do we really need payments in space?

PayPal Galactic might sound like a load of PR bull, but John Spencer, founder and president of the Space Tourism Society claims that “Within five to ten years the earliest types of ‘space hotels’ and orbital and lunar commerce will be operational and in need of a payment system”.

In reality the need for a galactic payment system already exists. Astronauts inhabiting space stations still need to pay for life’s necessities, from their bills back on Earth to their entertainment, like music and e-books, while in space. PayPal Galactic want to make these payments not just possible, but easy.

  • 5 years ago

    Do you know that you can join the team of space explorers and discover another planet teaming with life? You can make a donation and claim perks like:

    1. First Contact Alert – Be one of the first people on earth to be notified when SETI makes contact

    2. Voyager Message Plaque – A copy of the ET greeting message sent on Voyager autographed by Carl Sagan collaborator Frank Drake

    3. Guided Tour of Allen Telescope Array – Live the life of Jody Foster’s character, hang with scientists and explore that first contact

    4. Limited edition SETI swag – Fly a Flag of Earth to show “We are all Earthlings” or nab a special edition Galactic T-shirt or poster

    Join SETI’s Curiosity Movement here:

    Read about galaxy crowdfunding here:

  • 5 years ago

    To date I have never had an inquiry about a Book that I have on ebay with a request that it be delivered to an address on The Moon, Mars, Venus or even Pluto. If I did could the Post Office deliver?

    I note that the revamped Star Trek is currently being shown on the Horror Channel(Sky 319 and 320).

    Might I suggest that this announcement will raise a smile but no business at all for ecommerce sellers.

  • james
    5 years ago

    “In reality the need for a galactic payment system already exists. Astronauts inhabiting space stations still need to pay for life’s necessities, from their bills back on Earth to their entertainment…”

    I’m sure if they passed the NASA test to get into space then they are aware of how to set up a direct debit.

    they are supplied with everything they need for the trip, so dont need to buy anything, and so dont need money. Even if they had money, i dont think UPS has a depot up there to deliver any physical goods.

    the example of an eBook or music, which they could in theory buy from the space station over the internet (if they hadnt thought to take them with), wouldnt require any different currency than they use from their pc at home.

    “your paypal payment has been refused, as your IP address is not on planet earth” – No. Not yet at least.

    related reading:

    • 5 years ago

      There’s always something, maybe not needed for astronauts, but for the first space hotel if you’re away for a couple of weeks…

      …how many parents haven’t had a child needing an emergency sub or a forgotten birthday comes around?

      Someone will want to be first to make a space payment and then everyone will want to send flowers to their loved ones just because they can

      (oh… and because they’ll want to show off :D)

    • james
      5 years ago

      oh absolutely, but
      “In reality the need for a galactic payment system ALREADY EXISTS”
      -it doesnt. once there’s a space hotel i’m sure it will, but there isn’t yet.

      and when there is they will likely have something already in place – I would assume it will probably be a US led venture, and so they will accept US dollars in hard currency, or regular card payments.

      dont get me wrong, I know people who own a piece of the moon, or a star (on paper at least), and i’m sure they’d love to send a space payment, but i think paypal are currently trying to solve a problem which doesnt exist.

      why wont the payment methods we use now work? space is closer than we think, if i can send a payment 100,000 miles in any direction, why cant i send it 220 miles up? assuming they have an internet connection or a LINK cash machine up there?

    • 5 years ago

      No doubt sometime there will be Space Hotels and indeed Communities on The Moon or Mars or on some as yet un-named Planet circling some faraway Star. But not for a few years(indeed more likely decades or indeed centuries) in the future.

      However more than likely the main reason for the announcement is cheap publicity. The column inches that are given to such a scheme or idea by the National Media here and indeed across the World(the one that we currently occupy as I am not certain if there is any media currently operating elsewhere in the cosmos).

      Anyway it is almost the “Silly Season” for the national media.

  • 5 years ago

    Did any say we can Pay by PayPal to buy for our Drinks in RyanAir ? Sorry I din’t hear that !

  • Mark
    5 years ago

    I don’t see how this differs from card purchases made onboard ships and aircraft.

    The payment gets routed through a land based bank in the normal way. A space hotel will function in much the same way as a cruise ship.

    A true space based system will only be needed if there are autonomous communities living in space, with their own currency etc. This would simply (from the finance side) be an extension of the international payment system that allows payments to be made in different currencies.

    • 5 years ago


      One clear distinction springs to mind for me: they’re in space, possibly on a different world. 😉


    • JD
      5 years ago

      Ah! – the ‘penny’ has dropped.

      You mean like in a parallel universe?

      But if it was truly parallel no conversion would be possible. And how would ‘they’ ever get to learn of it anyway?

      Think I’ll stick to eBay – but wait sometimes I have to ask what planet are ‘they’ on?

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