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NASA is now accepting applications from companies that want to mine the moon
The Verge ^ | February 9, 2014 | Adrianne Jeffries

Posted on 02/12/2014 12:38:55 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet

NASA is now working with private companies to take the first steps in exploring the moon for valuable resources like helium 3 and rare earth metals.

Initial proposals are due tomorrow for the Lunar Cargo Transportation and Landing by Soft Touchdown program (CATALYST). One or more private companies will win a contract to build prospecting robots, the first step toward mining the moon.

The contract will be a "no funds exchanged" Space Agreement Act, which means the government will not be directly funding the effort, but will receive NASA support. Final proposals are due on March 17th, 2014. NASA has not said when it will announce the winner.

NASA works with private companies that service the International Space Station, and those partnerships have gone well. Faced with a skeleton budget, the agency is looking for innovative ways to cooperate with the private sector in order to continue research and exploration, as it did recently with a crowdsourcing campaign to improve its asteroid-finding algorithms. That campaign was launched with another private company, Planetary Resources, the billionaire-backed asteroid mining company.

According to the 1967 Outer Space Treaty of the United Nations, countries are prohibited from laying claim to the moon. The possibility of lunar mining and the emergence of private space companies has triggered a debate over lunar property rights, however.

"There’s a strong case for developing international law in this area because in 1967 it was not envisaged that anyone other than nation states would be able to explore the moon," Ian Crawford, a planetary science professor, told The Telegraph. "Clearly that is changing now and there is a case for developing the outer space treaty to include private organizations that may wish to explore the moon."


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: mining; moon; nasa; rareearth; sls; spaceexploration; spacelaunchsystem

1 posted on 02/12/2014 12:38:55 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
NASA is now working with private companies to take the first steps in exploring the moon for valuable resources like helium 3 and rare earth metals.

I wonder if those slime bags at the EPA will be monitoring their carbon footprint?

2 posted on 02/12/2014 12:49:45 AM PST by Mark17 (Chicago Blackhawks: Stanley Cup champions 2010, 2013. Vietnam Vet 70-71 Msgt US Air Force, retired)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

It would be pretty damned stupid to sign up with the “once was “ crowd at NASA. Just go to the moon via India or some other nation and start mining, if you develop the technology.

What is the current NASA going to do? Order a fatwa? Cursed be he who respecteth not our expired authority.


3 posted on 02/12/2014 1:21:39 AM PST by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Wasn’t aware NASA owned the moon.


4 posted on 02/12/2014 1:33:18 AM PST by Politicalkiddo (Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crused it. -M. Twain)
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To: Politicalkiddo

Neither was I. It is pretty arrogant.


5 posted on 02/12/2014 1:36:12 AM PST by Gaffer (Comprehensive Immigration Reform is just another name for Comprehensive Capitulation)
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To: Politicalkiddo

Actually, I think it belongs to the Federal Reserve.


6 posted on 02/12/2014 1:38:01 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (Jealousy is when you count someone else's blessings instead of your own.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

” Space Agreement Act, which means the government will not be directly funding the effort, but will receive NASA support”

Support = NASA goodie bag with a koozie (made in China), a 3 x 5 picture of Obama and a year reprieve on the Obamacare mandate.


7 posted on 02/12/2014 1:48:54 AM PST by RouxStir (No peein' allowed in the gene pool.)
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To: RouxStir

And a Muslim prayer rug and Obama souvenir turban.


8 posted on 02/12/2014 1:59:09 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (Jealousy is when you count someone else's blessings instead of your own.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Still think it would be easier to go after asteroids, large rocks, and other things floating around out there instead of digging the moon.


9 posted on 02/12/2014 2:04:18 AM PST by Hillarys Gate Cult (Liberals make unrealistic demands on reality and reality doesn't oblige them.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

How much has to be taken off the moon before it leaves our orbit?


10 posted on 02/12/2014 2:10:03 AM PST by Ecliptic (.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Sign up with NASA and the endless delays, extraneous requirements, obeisance to Obama, or go elsewhere and try and compete or partner with China who couldn't give a rip about some outer space treaty. The future of space no longer belongs to NASA.
11 posted on 02/12/2014 2:12:25 AM PST by Truth29
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To: Ecliptic

I wonder if it has oil inside it.
We could just siphon it out with a long hose.


12 posted on 02/12/2014 2:13:53 AM PST by right way right (America has embraced the suck of Freedumb.)
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To: Ecliptic

I think it would be the other way around. Mining the Moon and bringing the materials to Earth would make the Earth a bit heavier and the Moon somewhat lighter, increasing our gravitational pull and decreasing the Moon’s resistance. Would that affect the tides on Earth? Who knows?


13 posted on 02/12/2014 2:14:43 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (Jealousy is when you count someone else's blessings instead of your own.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

It’s about time. But I’m always worried about actually adding more mass to the planet.


14 posted on 02/12/2014 2:16:03 AM PST by wastedyears (The Ender's Game movie was a stupendous, colossal, galactic failure to me.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Since when does Nasa own the Moon? Or anybody.
Narcissism working it's magic.
15 posted on 02/12/2014 2:35:00 AM PST by MaxMax (Pay Attention and you'll be pissed off too! FIRE BOEHNER, NOW!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

What exactly, do they intend to mine the moon for?


16 posted on 02/12/2014 2:37:20 AM PST by equaviator (There's nothing like the universe to bring you down to earth.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet; SunkenCiv

... not sure if this is up your alley or not.


17 posted on 02/12/2014 2:39:16 AM PST by momtothree
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To: equaviator

Two possibilities are mentioned in the very first sentence.


18 posted on 02/12/2014 2:50:00 AM PST by HartleyMBaldwin
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I didn’t know NASA owned the moon?


19 posted on 02/12/2014 3:06:21 AM PST by caver (Obama: Home of the Whopper)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
I thought it was made of green cheese.
20 posted on 02/12/2014 3:41:10 AM PST by CrazyIvan (Obama phones= Bread and circuits.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Why? Just talk to China. They’ll be the ones better able to do this with any interested company. NASA is too concerned with diversity and social justice to do anything that can make money or is even scientific.


21 posted on 02/12/2014 3:46:43 AM PST by mikey_hates_everything
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To: momtothree; AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; cardinal4; ColdOne; ...

Thanks momtothree.


22 posted on 02/12/2014 3:55:03 AM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“Mine the moon.” How much does it cost to bring a pound of helium back to Earth? Is there some mineral that is so valuable that it pays its way on the space mission?


23 posted on 02/12/2014 4:37:49 AM PST by I want the USA back (Media: completely irresponsible traitors. Complicit in the destruction of our country.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

lol

anyone who thinks the environmental weenies will allow this is kidding themselves


24 posted on 02/12/2014 5:32:02 AM PST by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama lied .. the economy died.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The key factor would be final cost of production. Does it make sense to believe that it would cost less to travel to the moon, mine substances and return safely with them than to obtain them here on Earth?


25 posted on 02/12/2014 6:48:01 AM PST by JimRed (Excise the cancer before it kills us; feed & water the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS NOW & FOREVER!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Shouldn’t NASA be accepting applications only from companies that want to spread Islam?


26 posted on 02/12/2014 12:05:24 PM PST by DPMD
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Put a giant Coca Cola logo, visible from earth, up there. Let Coke pay for the missions.


27 posted on 02/12/2014 12:53:31 PM PST by hattend (Firearms and ammunition...the only growing industries under the Obama regime.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

NASA’s liberal... so is this a ‘pay to play’ Chicago type corruption?


28 posted on 02/12/2014 12:53:39 PM PST by GOPJ ("Washington Redskins" - Keep the Name. Change the mascot to a potato. - FR hoosiermama)
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To: HartleyMBaldwin

Ahyes...there it is.


29 posted on 02/12/2014 1:24:03 PM PST by equaviator (There's nothing like the universe to bring you down to earth.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

If I could put a company together to set up an automated titanium smelter on the moon, I’d get started tomorrow.

And I wouldn’t stop to ask NASA’s permission either. I’d just do it. Because... How would they stop me?


30 posted on 02/12/2014 1:26:02 PM PST by Dead Corpse (I will not comply.)
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To: Dead Corpse

With the space shuttle... oh, wait.


31 posted on 02/12/2014 1:31:37 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (Jealousy is when you count someone else's blessings instead of your own.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

There was a reason I needed to resign my Space Shuttle Door Gunner commission....


32 posted on 02/12/2014 2:37:16 PM PST by Dead Corpse (I will not comply.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
I seem to recall Newt Gingrich being publicly ridiculed for making similar proposals.
33 posted on 02/12/2014 2:45:40 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: All
"NASA is now accepting applications
from companies that want to mine the moon.."


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34 posted on 02/12/2014 2:55:48 PM PST by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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