NASA has been looking out for private companies for its mission of moon-mining. Colorado-based space startup Lunar Outpost CEO, Justin Cyrus was presented by Bill Nelson, the NASA administrator. NASA paid 10 cents (about 7p) to the company to start the project to bring Moondust to earth.
Moon has any valuable untapped resources known to be worth hundreds of billions of dollars. As a part of the space resource contract, NASA partnered with Lunar Outpost to bring Moondust. Nelson said, “We had contractual terms with them when they produce their first element,”
He further added, “We would give them 10% of their contract award. I am happy to present a check for 10% of their bid. Justin, here’s a check for 10 cents.” The program is important for NASA because they plan to one day be able to build future colonists. Bringin back materials would enable them to experiment and know more about the possibilities of making buildings on the Moon.
According to what Nelson said, these resources that will be mined will “will play a key role in NASA’s Artemis program and the future of space exploration. The ability to extract and use extraterrestrial resources will ensure Artemis operations can be conducted safely and sustainably in support of human exploration.”
Lunar Outpost along with Masten Space Systems and the European and Japanese divisions of conglomerate iSpace are going to build the space concrete. Not only is Moondust known to be useful on Moon, but also on Earth. But it also has the potential to be a pollutant in the future moonbase. So Lunar Outpost made an air quality sensor to contain potential hazards from Moondust.
Nelson said that it has already “led to a technology that senses pollutants on Earth to protect firefighters”. In the past NASA attempted to get more and more Moondust, also talked about creating artificial dust.
When astronauts landed on the Moon, there was dust everywhere, where the equipment to clean Astronauts’ spacesuits couldn’t handle it. It resembled fresh-fractured quartz, known to be a highly toxic substance. Tackling the Moon’s dust is crucial to colonize. In Addition, Lunar Outpost will be looking out for other potential materials. As said by Nelson, they are going to work on some interesting payloads. It is predicted that there is aluminum, titanium, calcium, iron, and silicon of considerable amounts on the Moon.
NASA said, “The ability to extract and use extraterrestrial resources will ensure Artemis operations can be conducted safely and sustainably in support of establishing human lunar exploration.” Furthermore, it is said that mining and testing will take place on the moon. To overcome the challenges of the human mission to Mars.