The possibility for space tourism is getting closer, says PayPal, so the universal payment service has launched PayPal Galactic, an initiative to discuss and find ways for people to pay for goods when not on planet Earth.
Created in conjunction with the SETI Institute and Space Tourism Society, PayPal Galactic's aim is to prepare for and support the future of space commerce. It will be gathering leaders in the space industry to attempt to answer numerous questions: what will our standard currency look like in a truly cash-free interplanetary society? How will the banking systems have to adapt? What time does Starbucks open when there's a completely different concept of night and day?
"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, on to phones and across terrestrial borders. We look forward to pushing payments from our world to the next, and beyond."
To help launch the initiative, famous NASA astronaut Buzz Aldrin will be joining Marcus on a special broadcast on the newly launched PayPal Galactic website at paypal-galactic.com. This will be streamed at 5pm in the UK today (9am PT, 12am ET).
You will also be able to find out more on PayPal Galactic from the same site after the broadcast has finished.
PayPal will also be launching a crowdfunding campaign on FundRazr to support the SETI Institute and its work on understanding life on Earth and the search for life beyond.