NASA has selected the four companies from which it will buy the lunar dust that they plan to dig on the moon. Although NASA regularly selects manufacturers for its missions and usually pays them millions, this choice is a bit unusual.
Namely, NASA selected the companies that offered the lowest bid in an open competition and will pay them the agreed amount in three installments. But what caught the eye was the fact that the first company, startup Lunar Outpost, asked for only $ 1 for the excavated lunar dust.
It’s pretty weird considering that the other companies got $ 5,000 or $ 15,000 each. In addition, space travel costs millions of dollars, and setting up lunar bases and any activity there costs billions of dollars. Then why ask for only $ 1.
Because the NASA competition actually has to prove that companies are allowed to use the Moon’s resources under the 1967 agreement, but also that NASA is willing to pay for such services.
” We believe that it is very important to set a precedent that the private sector can use those resources, and that NASA can buy them and use them not only for their own activities. “This marks a new dynamic era of public and private development and lunar exploration .”
It is not cheap to send a team to the moon, so the real question is who will pay for it. Even if only a small robot is sent to collect some dust and sell it to NASA, it can cost millions of dollars. The only logical explanation is advertising and the fact that companies can boast of being the first to use Lunar resources.