SunstarTV Bureau: NASA is paying Colorado-based Lunar Outpost $1 to collect small samples of lunar soil and rocks from moon.
The four commercial companies are awarded total of $25,001 (over Rs18.4 lakh) to share information on lunar location, to NASA. Companies aren’t being paid to develop their spacecraft or return the materials to the Earth, NASA clarified.
“Is NASA going to cut a check for 10 cents to Lunar Outpost? The answer is yes,” Phil McAlister, NASA commercial spaceflight director, said during a press conference.
The agency asked for bids between $15,000 and $25,000 for the collection program, but approved the $1 bid because Lunar Outpost was already planning to collect lunar material, McAlister mentioned.
The company is currently undecided which lander it will fly with, Lunar Outpost CEO Justin Cyrus told. The agency named the aerospace tech company as one of the four winning bidders for its first batch of moon material contracts just days after China landed its Chang’e-5 spacecraft on the moon. The craft is expected bring moon rocks to Earth for the first time in more than 40 years.