NASA announced that it officially wants to buy loads of rocks and dust from private companies and is willing to pay any company that is capable of bringing rocks, dirt, and other lunar materials. The purchase is a first step toward forming a lunar marketplace.
The official announcement was published on Thursday, where NASA is willing to pay for samples between 50 and 500 grams which is around a pound when weighed on our planet.
The space agency announced a proposal from companies and challenged them to snag samples of rocks from the moon’s surface. The companies also need to prove that they have collected lunar samples in small containers by sharing pictures and data to NASA. If given evidence is satisfactory, NASA promises to purchase samples for between $15,000 and $25,000 and told bids are welcomed from companies across the world. Afterward, NASA will take back the rock samples and bring them back to Earth.
The Moon's Surface Is Actually Dark.
- A. True
- B. False
Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted, “NASA is buying lunar soil from a commercial provider! It’s time to establish the regulatory certainty to extract and trade space resources.”
NASA and Its Lunar Rocks Purchase
NASA declared in its announcement on September 10, “We know a supportive policy regarding the recovery and use of space resources is important to the creation of a stable and predictable investment environment for commercial space innovators and entrepreneurs.”
NASA mentioned in its declaration that the USA government aims to make policies that will “encourage international support for the public and private recovery and use of resources in outer space.” This action will encourage private-sector investments in space technology and will push their limits in science and exploration.
NASA eventually wants the purchase to happen before 2024 and also offered a deadline for sending people back to the Moon. The samples can be collected anywhere on the surface of the moon and could contain rock, dust, or ice materials. For companies who are ready to pull this off, NASA is ready to pay a small portion of the money for awarding contracts and during launch. The rest of the funds will be rewarded when the samples are bagged. NASA also declares that it will give several awards to different companies that are capable of grabbing Moon rocks.