NASA Announces That It Is Looking For Companies To Collect Rocks, Dirt From Moon

 - Sakshi Post

US space agency NASA has announced that it is looking for companies to collect rocks and dirt from the lunar surface and then sell it off to the space agency.

NASA said it is looking for lunar "regolith", rocks and dirt from any location on the lunar surface. The companies require to provide the imagery of the material and location from which it was recovered. This is a part of a technology development program that would help astronauts "live off the land", the space agency said.

In a tweet, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine wrote that the agency “is buying lunar soil from a commercial provider! It’s time to establish the regulatory certainty to extract and trade space resources.”

The announcement is part of NASA's Artemis project to set up a permanent presence on and around the moon and then go to Mars. NASA had unveiled a legal framework called the “Artemis Accords,” to govern the behaviour of countries and companies on the lunar surface. This also included the creation of “safety zones” around mining and exploration sites, as reported by an international daily.

In a blog post, said that the project would fully in compliance with the  Outer Space Treaty of 1967, which states no country may lay sovereign claim to the moon or other celestial bodies.

The bidding for the project would not only be for US companies but all international ones. NASA would pay exclusively for the regolith, and not cover the enormous expense of getting to the lunar surface.

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