Nasa is trying to find private companies to assist mine the moon

Nasa is trying to find private companies to assist mine the moon
The agency announced it’s buying lunar soil from a billboard provider as a part of a technology development program

Nasa is trying to find private companies to assist mine the moon

Nasa has announced it’s trying to find private companies to travel to the moon and collect dust and rocks from the surface and convey them back to Earth.

The American space agency would then buy the moon particles samples in amounts between 50 to 500 grams for between $15,000 to $25,000.
The Nasa administrator, Jim Bridenstine, announced on Thursday that the moon material collection would become a part of a technology development program that might help astronauts “live off the land” for crewed missions within the future to the moon or elsewhere.

Bridenstine wrote that the agency “is buying lunar soil from a billboard provider. It’s time to determine the regulatory certainty to extract and trade space resources.”
The collection is a component of Nasa’s Artemis lunar exploration program established last year to land US astronauts, including the primary woman and therefore the next man, on the moon by 2024.



The agency has indicated that missions further afield, to Mars as an example , would require the utilization of locally mined resources.
“We will use what we learn on and round the moon to require subsequent giant leap – sending astronauts to Mars,” Bridenstine wrote.

In a blogpost, Bridenstine said the trouble would suits the space Treaty of 1967, which says that no country may lay sovereign claim to the moon or other celestial bodies in much an equivalent way that the Antarctica is off-limits for territorial conquest.

In May, Nasa unveiled a legal framework that might govern the behavior of nations and corporations in space and on the moon. The legal framework, referred to as the Artemis Accords, include the creation of “safety zones” around sites where mining and exploration would happen on the lunar surface.

Nasa’s top administrator also told a forum held by the Secure World Foundation that the policies which will govern mining from celestial bodies would be much an equivalent as people who currently exist for the world’s oceans.

“We do believe we will extract and utilize the resources of the moon, even as we will extract and utilize tuna from the ocean,” he said, without pertaining to overfishing and pollution that’s rapidly destroying fish stocks in many regions.
Unlike fisheries, however, participating celestial mining companies would be required to supply imagery of the fabric and therefore the location from which it had been recovered.

Nasa already features a separate program to contract companies to fly science experiments and cargo to the moon before a person’s landing. Those include Astrobotic, SpaceX, Blue Origin, Sierra Nevada Corp and Lockheed Martin.
Bridenstine said he anticipated a number of those may additionally have an interest in lunar mining.

Casey Dreier, chief advocate & senior space policy adviser at the Planetary Society, wrote on Twitter that the importance of Nasa’s announcement is “not such a lot the financial incentive (which is tiny) but in establishing the legal precedent that non-public companies can collect and sell celestial materials (with the specific blessing of NASA/U.S. gov)”.

• this text was amended on 11 September 2020. A regard to “manned missions” should are “crewed” missions in line with our gender-neutral approach and Nasa’s own terminology .

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