NASA has opened an offer to pay private companies to exploit the Moon's resources, announcing that it will buy rocks, dust and other lunar materials in an attempt to stimulate extraction. deprives of coveted resources from outside the world.
Jim Bridenstine, NASA administrator, wrote the announcement in a blog post assuring that the space agency's plans would not violate the 1967 treaty that states space and the required bodies are exempt from national property claims.
“It's a small step for space resources, but a huge leap for politics,” Mike Gold, NASA's head of international relations, told Reuters.
The initiative, which targets companies that plan to send robots to exploit lunar resources, is part of NASA's goal to establish what Bridenstine called “space behavior standards.” allow private operation on the moon in ways that could help support the astronauts' future missions.
NASA said the mined resources will be considered the property of the company, and the materials will become “the exclusive property of NASA after purchase.”
Under NASA 's Artemis program, President Donald Trump' s administration plans to return American astronauts to the moon by 2024.
Bridenstine said NASA will eventually buy more types of resources, such as ice and other materials that could be discovered on the moon.
In May, NASA set the stage for a global debate on the basic principles that govern how humans will live and work on the moon, releasing the principles of what will become an international pact for exploring the moon. , called the Artemis Agreement.
This would allow companies to own the lunar resources they exploit, a crucial element in allowing NASA contractors to convert ice of the moon's water to rocket fuel or to exploit lunar minerals to build landing platforms.