Nasa to pay company $1 to collect moon rocks





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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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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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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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WASHINGTON, Dec. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — NASA has selected two SmallSat missions – a study of Earth’s outer most atmosphere and a solar sail spaceflight test mission – to share a ride to space in 2025 with the agency’s Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP).

The missions – the Global Lyman-alpha Imagers of the Dynamic Exosphere (GLIDE) and Solar Cruiser – were selected as Solar Terrestrial Probes (STP) Missions of Opportunity. GLIDE will help researchers understand the upper reaches of Earth’s atmosphere – the exosphere – where it touches space. Solar Cruiser demonstrate the use of solar photons for propulsion in space.

The launch of the IMAP mission in 2025 to the first Lagrangian equilibrium point (L1), about 1 million miles towards the Sun, will be a pathfinder for NASA’s new RideShare policy. With the policy, the agency’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) will plan – from the inception of major

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NASA chooses 4 firms for first private lunar sample collection

ORLANDO, Fla., Dec. 3 (UPI) — Four companies will collect moon rocks and dust on the lunar surface for NASA by 2023 in preparation for a human mission the following year, the space agency announced Thursday.

The missions would be the first time a private company has collected samples from another planetary body, and the first time ownership of an object would be transferred beyond Earth orbit, according to NASA.

The companies are Lunar Outpost, based near Denver; ispace Japan of Tokyo; Luxembourg-based ispace Europe and Masten Space Systems, of Mojave, Calif. All four are planning to fly equipment to the moon on missions already planned.

The sample missions are intended only to provide a “proof of concept” to show NASA how a private company would collect samples. The missions also will test a legal framework for turning over ownership of such samples on the moon, said Phil McAlister, the

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NASA names companies that will mine moon

“You’d be surprised at what a dollar can buy you in space,” Mike Gold, NASA’s acting associate administrator for international and interagency relations, said in a call with reporters.

But the modest financial incentives are not the driver of the program. Nor to a large extent is the actual lunar soil. NASA is only asking for small amounts—between 50 to 500 grams (or 1.7 ounces to about 17 ounces). While there would be scientific benefits to the mission, it’s really a technology development program, allowing companies to practice extracting resources from the lunar surface and then selling them.

It would also establish a legal precedent that would pave the way for companies to mine celestial bodies in an effort blessed by the United States government to help build a sustainable presence on the moon and elsewhere.

To do that, NASA says it needs its astronauts, like the western pioneers, to

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A mysterious object temporarily orbiting Earth is a 54-year-old rocket, not an asteroid after all, astronomers confirmed Wednesday.

The object was classified as an asteroid after its discovery in September. But NASA’s top asteroid expert, Paul Chodas, quickly suspected it was the Centaur upper rocket stage from Surveyor 2, a failed 1966 moon-landing mission. Size estimates had put it in the range of the old Centaur, which was about 32 feet (10 meters) long and 10 feet (3 meters) in diameter.

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centaurupperstage1964

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