Washington (USA) | Jagran Trending Desk: In a bid to find more about lunar surface, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has announced that it is looking for private companies to go to Moon and collect dust and rocks from there.

The American space agency, which has set the goal of landing the first American woman and next man on the Moon by 2024, has said that it aims to complete the retrieval and transfer of ownership of the resources before 2024.

"The solicitation creates a full and open competition, not limited to US companies, and the agency may make one or more awards," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said on Thursday.

According to NASA, the private companies will go to the Moon and collect dust and rocks from there that will help the American space agency to find more about the lunar surface.

The space agency has further said that the private mining companies will have to conduct an "in-place" transfer of ownership of the lunar regolith or rocks to it, adding that the collected material will become its sole property after ownership transfer.

"NASA’s payment is exclusively for the lunar regolith, with any awardee receiving 10 per cent at an award, 10 per cent upon launch, and the remaining 80 per cent upon successful completion," Bridenstine said, adding that the agency will determine retrieval methods for the transferred lunar regolith at a later date.

As per media reports, the US space agency will pay between USD 15,000 and USD 25,000 for the resources. However, some experts suggest that the amount that will be given by NASA is "quite meagre".  

"They are paying the company to sell them a rock that the company owns. That's the product," Joanne Gabrynowicz, former editor-in-chief of the Journal of Space Law, said in an interview.

"A company has to decide for itself if it's worth taking the financial and technological risk to do this to sell rock," he added.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma