NASA has awarded contracts to four private companies that have offered to collect samples of lunar soil at prices ranging from $ 1 to $ 15,000.
“You will be amazed at what a dollar can buy in space,” international relations official Mike Gould told reporters.
“It’s really amazing that we can buy lunar regolith from 4 companies at a price of $ 2,5001 in total,” said the agency’s program officer, Phil McCallister.
In return for the sums provided, Lunar Outpost ($ 1), the Japanese and European subsidiaries of iSpace (each $ 5,000) and Mastin Space Systems ($ 15,000) will manage to reach the moon and take samples from Soil, photographed and transferred to NASA upon return to Earth.
These companies will send their vehicles to collect samples to the moon as part of missions funded by outside NASA to be implemented during the years 2022 and 2023.
The date for the return of the samples has not yet been determined, as the primary goal of this step is to pave the way for a new phase of space exploration in which the private sector participates in the exploration for extraterrestrial resources under judicial protection mechanisms.