NASA wants to pay companies to collect dirt from the Moon for them

NASA says that they want to pay a company to collect dirt from the Moon and then deliver it to them. 

NASA says that they are soliciting commercial companies to provide proposals for the collection of space resources. They specifically want moon "dirt" or rocks from any location on the lunar surface.

In addition, NASA says that they are asking for provided imagery of the collection and collected material and data that identifies the collection location. The company must also conduct an "in-place" transfer of ownership of the lunar regolith or rocks to NASA. The collected material will then become the sole property of NASA.

NASA hopes that this can be done before 2024. The competition is not limited to just U.S. companies and the agency may grant one or more awards. 

MORE NEWS: NASA, SpaceX target October for next launch carrying astronauts

Illustration of Artemis astronauts on the Moon. (Photo Credit: NASA)

Lunar science and technology are said to be an objective for NASA as they hope to return to the Moon and eventually go to Mars. The Artemis program will lay the foundation for a long-term presence on the lunar surface and use the Moon to validate deep space systems and operations before embarking for Mars. 

NASA said that the Artemis program will land the first woman and the next man on the surface of the moon by 2024. Contracts have already been awarded to Blue Origin, Dynetics, and SpaceX to design and develop human landers.

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