The US NASA space agency is seeking to open a market for space mining. It is enough for companies to collect some lunar soil this time. There are still many candidates for the prize, but all lunar “excavations” may include one venture.
Three months earlier, NASA proposed a challenge to private organizations in which it was necessary to extract 50 grams of lunar soil and the American government will allocate $1 to $15,000 in awards for this. For a handful of moon dust, that’s not much of an amount. In this initiative, though, the main thing is not the compensation and not the quantity of soil. A total of around 400 kg of lunar soil was delivered to Earth by the Apollo missions, and there is no need for immediate distribution of fresh samples. Also, this is not indicated by the present competition: it is enough to get to the lunar surface, to gather and clean the soil, and it is not necessary to deliver it to Earth.
The project’s key concept is to promote the production of ore extraction technology and useful resources outside of our world. NASA sees tremendous promise, even economic potential, in this.
There were several people eager to take part: applications were submitted by 22 businesses. As a result, four were chosen by NASA: the American Lunar Outpost and Masten Space Systems, as well as iSpace Japan and iSpace Europe.
In the future, the winners of the current competition will be able to earn more lucrative sums from NASA to get into the attention of big players. First of all, we’re talking about Blue Origin, a corporation founded by Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN). Blue Origin was able to build a Blue Moon lander platform, which NASA selected for lunar exploration.
It can also use this forum to send digging robots. So, with Blue Moon’s support in 2023, Lunar Outpost plans to land its robot. Masten and iSpace have their own lander modules that will travel to the Moon in 2021 and 2022. Masten is regarded by some analysts to be the technical pioneer in this competition because NASA gave this company the overall $15 thousand prize. Lunar Outpost, which uses the ready-made high-tech platform Blue Moon, got the least (symbolic $1) of all.
Thus, by drawing experts and capital to a new sector, NASA is seeking to build an ambitious market. A clear positive signal for future investors is the success of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos in this industry. In the fact that the majority of promising space players remain private, public corporations still exist. Specifically, Northrop Grumman (NOC), which recently bought Orbital OTK, a private space company, plans to launch heavy Omega rockets in 2021.
Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC) declined by -1.45% to $288.33 at the ring of the bell on Friday.