NASA paid 10 cents to a private company for the extraction of lunar soil
NASA’s Aerospace Agency made the first payment under a contract with the private company Lunar Outpost for the extraction of lunar soil.
A token check for 10 cents was handed over to Lunar Outpost CEO Justin Cyrus by NASA head Bill Nelson at the 36th Space Symposium, held in Colorado Springs.
NASA chief Bill Nelson gives a check for 10 cents to the head of Lunar Outpost Justin Cyrus
The amount paid was 10% of the total contract amount, equal to one US dollar. As the parties involved explained, all funds will be used to extract the regolith as part of the lunar mission, which Lunar Outpost plans to carry out until 2024. As explained by NASA, the symbolic cost of Lunar Outpost services is explained by the fact that the company already planned a similar mission, and it cost nothing to reserve part of the excavated soil for the space agency.
In a conversation with Global-technologies The head of Lunar Outpost has confirmed that the company is going to mine 100 grams of lunar regolith. He did not explain how much of it will be allocated by NASA. In addition, he added that the mission will also search for volatiles and water ice on the surface of the Earth’s satellite. Lunar Outpost is currently preparing this space mission.
In addition to Lunar Outpost, NASA has entered into similar contracts with two other private companies. The American Masten Space Systems has promised to collect lunar soil for the agency in 2023 for $ 15 thousand. The Japanese company Ispace is planning two missions to extract regolith, one in 2022, the second in 2023. She will complete each one for $ 5 thousand.