NASA seeking commercial proposals for lunar sample collection
Over the next four years, NASA will pay for private companies to harvest rocks and soil from the moon, as the agency takes the initial steps to field sustainable lunar exploration.
Bids for the solicitation are due by October 2, 2020, as NASA seeks worldwide competitive proposals for contracts for the lunar collections. The agreement must include collecting between 50 and 500 grams of lunar regolith, imagery of the resources and data, locations, and an ‘in-place’ mechanism to transfer sole ownership and usage rights of the samples to NASA. Under the program, the goal would be to complete retrieval and transfer by 2024.
In a post on his personal blog, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine commented on the request for proposals, stating “As we at NASA are working aggressively to meet our near-term goal of landing the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024, our Artemis program also is focused on taking steps that will establish a safe and sustainable lunar exploration architecture… We are putting our policies into practice to fuel a new era of exploration and discovery that will benefit all of humanity.”
President Donald Trump signed an executive order earlier this year that permits private companies to engage in the collection and use of resources gathered in space. The executive order serves as an additional affirmation of a decision put forth by congress in 2015 allowing private companies and interested others the ability to engage in usage of space resources.
Theresa Cross grew up on the Space Coast. It’s only natural that she would develop a passion for anything “Space” and its exploration. During these formative years, she also discovered that she possessed a talent and love for defining the unique quirks and intricacies that exist in mankind, nature, and machines. Hailing from a family of photographers—including her father and her son, Theresa herself started documenting her world through pictures at a very early age. As an adult, she now exhibits an innate photographic ability to combine what appeals to her heart and her love of technology to deliver a diversified approach to her work and artistic presentations. Theresa has a background in water chemistry, fluid dynamics, and industrial utility.