(ORDO NEWS) — US space agency NASA on Thursday signed contracts with four companies to collect lunar samples at prices ranging from $ 1 to $ 15,000, which should set a precedent for the future exploitation of space resources by the private sector.
“I think it’s pretty amazing that we can already buy different lunar rocks,” said Phil McAlister, director of NASA’s commercial spaceflight division.
Contracts are with Lunar Outpost in Golden, Colorado for $ 1, ispace Japan in Tokyo for $ 5,000, ispace Europe in Luxembourg for $ 5,000, and Masten Space Systems in Mojave, California, for $ 15,000.
The companies plan to raise funds during the already planned unmanned flights to the moon in 2022 and 2023.
These firms should collect a small amount of lunar soil, known as regolith, from the Moon and provide NASA with images of this collection and the material collected.
Ownership of the lunar soil will be transferred to NASA and it will become “the only NASA property for use by the agency under the Artemis program.”
Through the Artemis program, NASA plans to land a man and a woman on the moon by 2024 and lay the foundation for sustainable exploration and subsequent mission to Mars.
“We believe it is very important to create something that private sector actors can mine, take these resources and sell them. NASA can buy and use them to fuel not only NASA, but a whole new dynamic era of public and private development and exploration of the Moon.” ,
“We must learn to make our own water, air and even fuel,” he said. “Living off the surface of the moon, with which to create all this, will enable ambitious exploration efforts that will lead to awe-inspiring science and unprecedented discoveries.”
Any knowledge gained on the moon will be critical to a future mission to Mars.
“A human mission to Mars will be more complex than our lunar operations, which is why it is so important to extract as much information as possible from our missions to the Moon and apply that knowledge on Mars,” Gold said.
The 1967 Outer Space Treaty is vague, but it believes that outer space “is not subject to national appropriation through claims of sovereignty.
Contact us: [email protected]