NASA is soliciting help from commercial companies to get moon samples

Space Resources are the Key to Safe and Sustainable Lunar Exploration

NASA administrator, Jim Bridenstine, announced on Thursday that the company is looking for a private company to get to the Moon and obtain dust and rock samples from its surface as part of a technology development program that would help astronauts "live off the land" for manned missions in the future. And it's starting with a request for moon dirt and rocks. Will be paid to about $ 300 a gram. The current deadline given by NASA is to send people back to the Moon. However, some experts suggest that the amount that will be given by NASA is "quite meagre".

If the plan is successfully followed, the moon stuff will be brought eventually to the Earth, where NASA already has a huge stock of moon rocks after the Apollo mission between 1969 and 1972. This step is one of the small initiatives to create a lunar marketplace. It is willing to pay any company that's capable of bringing what they want. "And not just traded among companies or private individuals, but also among countries and across borders - private individuals in other countries".

"The bottom line is, we're gonna buy some lunar soil for the goal of demonstrating that it can be done", NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said today (Sept. 10) during an online presentation at the Secure World Foundation's Summit for Space Sustainability.

The idea of commercial mining on space rocks and celestial bodies has been doing rounds recently.

Space Resources are the Key to Safe and Sustainable Lunar Exploration

The competition for the contracts isn't only limited to USA -based companies. While China has toned down its argument against the idea, Russian Federation has not.

NASA aims to complete the process of mining and transferring of the ownership of lunar materials before 2024, the year when they aim to put first woman or next man on Moon.

The contract doesn't actually involve getting to the Moon itself - a feat only achieved by the national space agencies of three countries - but instead envisages companies designing a robot that NASA or major private sector players can then launch. The aim is to have a long-term presence on the Moon rather than short trips.

NASA in May set the stage for a global debate over the basic principles governing how people will live and work on the moon, releasing the main tenets of what it hopes will become an worldwide pact for moon exploration called the Artemis Accords. The ability to conduct in-situ resources utilization (ISRU) will be incredibly important on Mars, which is why we must proceed with alacrity to develop techniques and gain experience with ISRU on the surface of the Moon.

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