Nasa to pay company $1 to collect moon rocks





© Getty Images


Nasa is paying a company $1 to collect moon rocks after it was accepted as a winning bidder.

On Thursday Colorado-based Lunar Outpost was awarded a contract to collect moon dirt for the US space agency.

It is one of three contracts awarded by Nasa under its low-cost lunar resource collection programme.

The other winning bidders were California-based Masten Space Systems and Tokyo-based ispace.

Nasa will be paying the companies for individual collections of lunar regolith, or moon soil, between 50g and 500g in weight.

“The companies will collect the samples and then provide us with visual evidence and other data that they’ve been collected,” a spokesman for Nasa said.

“The plan is for the mission to take place in 2023, but we are working with several different lander companies, which could result in an earlier launch date,” Lunar Outpost CEO Justin Cyrus told the BBC.

Lunar

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In Monterey Bay, California, scientists grab the chance to study white sharks up close

Growing over six meters (20 feet) long and armed with hundreds of serrated, razor-sharp teeth, white sharks are the world’s largest predatory fish.



a fish swimming under water


© Stanford University


In late summer and fall, up to 250 white sharks congregate in Monterey Bay, off the central Californian coast, to feast on marine mammals — including elephant seals and sea lions — that gather here to breed.

From a shark’s perspective, “think of Monterey Bay as having one of the best fast food restaurants on the planet,” says shark expert and Stanford professor, Barbara Block.

Video: In Monterey Bay, scientists are tagging and tracking white sharks (CNN)

In Monterey Bay, scientists are tagging and tracking white sharks

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Block also travels to Monterey Bay because the annual marine mammal “buffet” offers her an ideal opportunity to study the sharks up close. She and her team lure the “curious” sharks alongside

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NASA Buying Moon Dust For $1

The US space agency NASA awarded contracts to four companies on Thursday to collect lunar samples for $1 to $15,000, rock-bottom prices that are intended to set a precedent for future exploitation of space resources by the private sector.

“I think it’s kind of amazing that we can buy lunar regolith from four companies for a total of $25,001,” said Phil McAlister, director of NASA’s Commercial Spaceflight Division.

The contracts are with Lunar Outpost of Golden, Colorado for $1; ispace Japan of Tokyo for $5,000; ispace Europe of Luxembourg for $5,000; and Masten Space Systems of Mojave, California for $15,000.

The companies plan to carry out the collection during already scheduled unmanned missions to the Moon in 2022 and 2023.

The firms are to collect a small amount of lunar soil known as regolith from the Moon and to provide imagery to NASA of the collection and the collected material.

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Most detailed 3D map ever of Milky Way includes nearly 2 billion stars

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The map measures stars closer to the edge of the Milky Way than ever before.


YouTube/ESA

You can’t just drive a Google Maps car around the Milky Way to diagram it. It’s fortunate, then, that new information gathered by the European Space Agency’s Gaia observatory offers the most detailed map yet of the galaxy. The project’s map now includes almost 2 billion stars, and it helps the agency trace the Milky Way’s history.

“The new Gaia data promise to be a treasure trove for astronomers,” Jos de Bruijne, ESA’s Gaia deputy project scientist, said in a statement.

The new information not only brings the total number of stars mapped over seven years up to close to 2 billion, but it includes “a detailed census of more than 300,000 stars in our cosmic neighborhood,” meaning stars within 326 light-years of the sun. That 300,000 number is believed to be 92% of

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Conversations with Maya: Dianne K. Newman

Dianne K. Newman
Gordon M. Binder/Amgen Professor of Biology and Geobiology, Caltech

Maya Ajmera, President & CEO of the Society for Science & the Public and Publisher of Science News, chatted with Dianne K. Newman, an alumna of the International Science and Engineering Fair and the Gordon M. Binder/Amgen Professor of Biology and Geobiology at Caltech. She is a MacArthur Fellow, Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and member of the National Academy of Sciences. We are thrilled to share an edited summary of their conversation.

You are an alumna of the 1987 and 1988 International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). How did the competition impact your life?

ISEF was by far the most memorable thing I did in high school. ISEF 1987 was the highlight because it was held in Puerto Rico. I grew up in South America, so I really enjoyed going back to a Spanish-speaking

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Japan Space Probe To Bring Asteroid Dust To Earth

Call it a special delivery: after six years in space, Japan’s Hayabusa-2 probe is heading home, but only to drop off its rare asteroid samples before starting a new mission.

The fridge-sized probe, launched in December 2014, has already thrilled scientists by landing on and gathering material from an asteroid some 300 million kilometres (185 million miles) from Earth.

Hayabusa-2 will near Earth to drop off rare asteroid samples before heading back into deep space on a new extended mission Hayabusa-2 will near Earth to drop off rare asteroid samples before heading back into deep space on a new extended mission Photo: AFP / Behrouz MEHRI

But its work isn’t over yet, with scientists from Japan’s space agency JAXA now planning to extend its mission for more than a decade and targeting two new asteroids.

Before that mission can begin, Hayabusa-2 needs to drop off its precious samples from the asteroid Ryugu — “dragon palace” in Japanese.

Scientists are hoping the capsule will contain around 0.1 grams of material that will

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Titanium atom that exists in two places at once in crystal to blame for unusual phenomenon

Titanium atom that exists in two places at once in crystal to blame for unusual phenomenon
This high-resolution scanning electron microscope (SEM) image of BaTiS3 crystals is overlaid with illustrations showing the orientation of individual atoms in the crystal. Despite the atomic perfection of the crystal, it is unexpectedly poor at transporting thermal energy. Credit: Caltech/USC/ORNL

The crystalline solid BaTiS3 (barium titanium sulfide) is terrible at conducting heat, and it turns out that a wayward titanium atom that exists in two places at the same time is to blame.


The discovery, made by researchers from Caltech, USC, and the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), was published on November 27 in the journal Nature Communications. It provides a fundamental atomic-level insight into an unusual thermal property that has been observed in several materials. The work is of particular interest to researchers who are exploring the potential use of crystalline solids with poor thermal conductivity in thermoelectric applications, in which heat is

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Drone Footage Shows Collapse of Observatory

puertorico science astronomy observatory us

RICARDO ARDUENGOGetty Images

  • The famed Arecibo Observatory, featured in the films Contact and Goldeneye, gave way earlier this week after its support cables snapped.
  • The National Science Foundation, which ran the Puerto Rico-based radio observatory, released dramatic drone footage of the collapse.
  • The telescope operated for almost 60 years, scanning the skies for asteroids and alien signals and contributing to our understanding of the universe.

    The National Science Foundation (NSF) has released tragic drone footage of the collapse of the famed Arecibo Observatory, which fell this week after 57 years of service.

    📡You love badass space stuff. So do we. Let’s explore the universe together.

    The observatory—made famous by films like Contact and the James Bond flick Goldeneye—probed the distant reaches of the universe for signs of extraterrestrial life, scanned the skies for fast radio bursts, and tracked marauding asteroids zipping through our solar system. It’s

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    NASA will pay a company $1 to collect moon rocks

    A photo of the moon taken by SpaceIL’s Beresheet spacecraft in orbit.

    SpaceIL

    NASA will pay an amazingly low price – a dollar – to have a company make a single small collection of moon dirt on the agency’s behalf.

    Colorado-based start-up Lunar Outpost bid $1 and won a NASA contract to complete a mission under the agency’s low-cost lunar resource collection program announced earlier this year.

    NASA wants to pay companies for individual collections of lunar regolith, or Moon soil, between 50 grams and 500 grams. The agency explicitly outlined it is only paying companies to collect material and say where NASA can find it on the moon’s surface – not to develop the spacecraft or return the regolith to Earth.

    Lunar Outpost is one of the three companies that NASA selected on Thursday as winning bidders. The other two winners were California-based Masten Space Systems, which proposed a

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    NASA agrees to purchase moon rocks for $1

    Blue Moon cargo lander
    An artist’s conception shows the uncrewed cargo version of Blue Origin’s Blue Moon lunar lander. (Blue Origin Illustration)

    NASA has selected four companies to collect material on the moon and store it up as the space agency’s property, for a total price of $25,001. And one deal stands out: a $1 purchase that may rely on Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture.

    Although this sounds like the sort of deal Amazon might have offered on Cyber Monday, neither Seattle-based Amazon nor Kent, Wash.-based Blue Origin is directly involved in the purchase. Instead, NASA accepted a $1 offer from Colorado-based Lunar Outpost, based on the expectation that the venture can set aside a sample on the moon for the space agency.

    “They propose collecting the lunar material for one dollar — that’s right, one-point-zero-zero dollars —  following the arrival of the Blue Moon lander to the south pole in

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