NASA wants samples of moon dirt for its lunar base plans and wants companies to compete on getting them and handing them over. The agency is opening up a solicitation to commercial companies to propose how they would collect such lunar regolith, provide images and locations of it to NASA and eventually deliver it to the agency.
NASA’s goal is that the retrieval and transfer of ownership will be completed before 2024 which is the year that NASA is aiming to land the next humans, including the first woman, on the moon as part of the Artemis program.
The competition is not limited to U.S. companies and NASA may award more than one contract. The goal is to get surface samples, between 50 and 500 grams of moon soil, from a variety of locations on the moon to analyze where the best place would be to build up a lunar base infrastructure for a continued presence on the moon. NASA is asking the companies to come up with their own payout price in the solicitation, and NASA said the contract will pay out 10% when it’s awarded, another 10% when the company launches its mission and the final 80% when the goods are delivered, using a method of transfer to be determined at a later date. Bids are due Oct. 9.
If you’d like to read the full story, click here!