NASA will pay companies to collect Moon rocks within the next four years, a critical first step to achieve safe and sustainable lunar exploration
As a critical first step to achieve its goals to accelerate safe and sustainable lunar exploration, NASA today announced it is looking to pay companies to collect dirt or rocks on the Moon within the next four years. NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine made the announcement in a blog post saying “Today, we’re taking a critical step forward by releasing a solicitation for commercial companies to provide proposals for the collection of space resources.”
Under the terms of a contract, a company would collect “a small amount” of Moon rocks, provide imagery to NASA of the material and data of where to find it, and then transfer ownership of the materials to the space agency. “We are putting our policies into practice to fuel a new era of exploration and discovery that will benefit all of humanity,” NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said.
So, what’s are the requirements? NASA said that “a company will collect a small amount of Moon “dirt” or rocks from any location on the lunar surface, provide imagery to NASA of the collection and the collected material, along with data that identifies the collection location, and conduct an “in-place” transfer of ownership of the lunar regolith or rocks to NASA. After ownership transfer, the collected material becomes the sole property of NASA for our use.”
Bridenstine took to Twitter to share the news. “@NASAis buying lunar soil from a commercial provider! It’s time to establish the regulatory certainty to extract and trade space resources,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a tweet.
NEWS: @NASA is buying lunar soil from a commercial provider! It’s time to establish the regulatory certainty to extract and trade space resources. More: https://t.co/B1F5bS6pEy pic.twitter.com/oWuGHnB8ev
— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) September 10, 2020