NASA Invites Private Companies To Apply For Mining on the Moon

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By Christine Lazaro | February 12, 2014 1:39 PM EST


(Video Credit: YouTube/TomoNews US)

NASA recently updated all of its followers about the possibility of gardening and even mining up on the moon. And now, the U.S. space agency is inviting numerous private companies to explore the possibility of mining with them to discover resources that may include rare earth metals.

According to The Verge, the deadline for the first set of proposals have been set in order to choose the ones who will get the contract in building robots for the mining activity up in space. The contract to the winners of the proposal selection will be limited to an agreement of a "no funds exchanged" rule. This means that the private companies to be chosen will get support from NASA but cannot expect for the government to fund the mining on the moon efforts directly. The final set of proposals will have its deadline on March 17 while the space agency still has not confirmed any date for the announcement of the winner.

NASA has always believed that building partnerships, even with private sectors, can help the space agency widen their research and space exploration prospects. Its recent campaign for the betterment of its algorithms in searching for asteroids serves as proof to the success of this strategy. It was launched with Planetary Resources which is a private company.

New Mars Mission by U.S. and France

On other NASA news, a collaboration between France and the United States is planned to push through a brand new Mars mission. It can be recalled that it has already been two years since NASA backed out of its European partnership in sending a lander to the popular Red Planet, SMH reports.

This new project though with France will send the InSight lander to Mars with a mission of analysing the planet's deep interiors. The agreement has been signed by Charles Bolden, an administrator from NASA and France's National Centre of Space Studies President Jean-Yves Le Gall.

This new Mars mission will be ready for a launch by March 2016 and would reach the Red Planet after six months. At the moment, NASA has the Curiosity Rover and the Opportunity Rover doing the exploration activities in Mars.


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