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NASA Wants To Buy Moon Dirt From Private Companies

Published by Slashdot on Fri, 11 Sep 2020


NASA aims to pay private companies to collect moon dirt in an effort to stimulate and normalize the extraction and sale of lunar resources. Space.com reports: The agency just issued a request for proposals (RFP) to this effect, [NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine] explained in a blog post today. NASA wants private companies, from the United States or abroad, to snag 1.8 ounces to 18 ounces (50 to 500 grams) of lunar material by 2024 and officially transfer ownership of the stuff to the space agency on the lunar surface. NASA will pay $15,000 to $25,000 for each of these caches, with 80% of the money delivered after sample collection. Companies will get 10% upon signing a contract and 10% after launching their spacecraft, Bridenstine added. NASA will eventually bring the lunar material down to Earth, if all goes according to plan. (The space agency already has a considerable stash of moon rocks here, of course. The Apollo astronauts brought home 842 lbs., or 382 kilograms, of lunar material between 1969 and 1972.) The main goal of the new RFP, which you can find here, is to stimulate and normalize the extraction and sale of lunar resources, Bridenstine said. For example, participating companies may choose to collect far more than 18 ounces of material and sell the excess to non-NASA buyers.Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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