The American Space Institute ‘NASA’ has announced that it wants to buy the moon rocks from private companies so that mining operations on the moon can be started. The space agency is taking proposals from companies on how they will collect soil and stones from the moon using rovers (carts that run across the moon’s surface).
NASA has invited proposals from various companies regarding the mineral mining scheme on the moon. NASA has planned that it will pay up to 15 thousand and 25 thousand dollars respectively to buy samples ranging from 50 to 500 grams brought from the moon. NASA said, collecting the rocks and soil of the moon and handing it over to NASA would be the first step towards realizing the concept of launching a space trade on the moon.
This initiative will help develop the modalities of mining work on moon land by space entrepreneurs in the future. This initiative from NASA will also help in space missions for future. NASA plans to complete such experiments before 2024. NASA plans to land humans again on the lunar surface by 2024.
Companies must collect moon dust or rocks on the lunar surface of the moon. Each company must send photographs of samples that they have collected to NASA. Apart from where these samples were collected and the data related to this will also have to be submitted to the Space Institute. According to the initial plan, samples collected from lunar soil should be between 50 and 500 grams and ready for collection by future missions.
NASA will determine collection methods at later dates. In a blog post, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said, “We are putting our policies to usher in a new era of discovery that will greatly benefit human civilization.”
Breidenstein said, ‘Leveraging commercial partnerships will increase our ability to return to the moon safely in a sustainable, innovative, and low rate. He said that NASA’s plans would not violate the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which believes that the celestial bodies are free from national claims to space ownership. ‘
The foundations of NASA’s plan lay in a law passed by the US Congress in 2015. This law was approved by Barack Obama while in the presidency. Under this law, private companies were assigned the right to do mining on the moon land, the right to property, the water, minerals, and other substances there. According to Breidenstein, NASA’s recent move is under the ‘Outer Space Treaty of 1967’ agreement signed in 1967 among 110 countries of the world.
The agreement states clearly that “the use of the moon and other planetary satellites in the space or in any other way will not be considered as national property of any country or claim sovereignty for them.” According to him, we have to use the ice on the surface of the moon. It will have to work on plans to make breathable air, make potable water, or make rocket fuel. Last year, the Trump administration announced plans to land a group of robots on the lunar surface by 2024, four years before the mission to send astronauts to the moon.