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Posted

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.

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Posted

the good thing about mining on moon is that the environmentalist have no rights to say anything about it.

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Posted

the good thing about mining on moon is that the environmentalist have no rights to say anything about it.

 

Even if they do, nobody would hear them in space.

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Posted

If the Moon had gold and other valuable minerals, I wonder if there would be anything left of it ...

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Posted

If the Moon had gold and other valuable minerals, I wonder if there would be anything left of it ...

 

I thought it was made of cheese.

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Posted

the good thing about mining on moon is that the environmentalist have no rights to say anything about it.

Heh, give them time.

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Posted

Wow the comments on that article a just terrible. They really need to moderate that. I don't know if they will get many serious business out of this, the cost is probative. But if anybody has the money its the mining industry. 

 

I feel like there wont be enough resources on the moon anyway. Mars maybe, the moon not so much.

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Posted

Don't we kinda need the moon?

God damn we like to ruin everything.

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Posted

That sort of Idea reminds me of the movie Moon. Great film :)

 

Neztea

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Posted

Don't we kinda need the moon?

God damn we like to ruin everything.

 

We do need the moon, however they are looking to mine precious minerals, which would be small amounts, not large amounts, The moon is quite large and if we are only mining precious minerals I doubt we would return more than a couple tonnes worth of it. The moon has lost more than that with asteroid hits.

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Posted

the good thing about mining on moon is that the environmentalist have no rights to say anything about it.

That and there's no real environment to speak of on the moon, and polluting/destroying it won't affect humans.

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Posted

That and there's no real environment to speak of on the moon, and polluting/destroying it won't affect humans.

 

Yeah if you go to the linked article and read the comments you will see all the environmentalist talking crap.

 

Most Environmentalist are so far gone they would rather there be no people because then we cant affect the environment.

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Posted

Even if they do, nobody would hear them in space.

Greatest Post in a  Long Time.

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Posted

1) the US and other major space nations never signed on to the Moon Treaty. Very few have.**

2) dup thread: http://www.neowin.net/forum/topic/1196953-nasa-lunar-catalyst-commercial-lunar-lander-proposal/

** Australia, Austria, Belgium, Chile, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Uruguay are parties to the treaty, 7 of which ratified and the rest acceded. France, Guatemala, India and Romania have signed but not ratified.

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Posted

but how many % of moon mass that need to mined before it has noticeable gravity change that will affect earth eventually?

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Posted

1) the US and other major space nations never signed on to the Moon Treaty. Very few have.**

2) dup thread: http://www.neowin.net/forum/topic/1196953-nasa-lunar-catalyst-commercial-lunar-lander-proposal/

** Australia, Austria, Belgium, Chile, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Uruguay are parties to the treaty, 7 of which ratified and the rest acceded. France, Guatemala, India and Romania have signed but not ratified.

 

 

UN treaties still prevents anyone from laying claim to it.  

 

I can't see this happening without some form of robust legal framework being established for it and can't imagine it'll be accepted by other governments as a free-for-all. 

 

Edit: I see the US didn't sign a subset of the Outer Space Treaty because it was deemed anti-business lol. 

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Posted

but how many % of moon mass that need to mined before it has noticeable gravity change that will affect earth eventually?

A lot.

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Posted

We need to leave the moon alone.  We are doing just fine ruining our own planet, no need to do the same on the moon.  If we are really to the point that we need to look elsewhere for certain minerals, then we need to take a look at our own practices and change them.  We aren't talking about anything that is needed to sustain life, this would just be companies trying to make even more money.  I am sick and tired of seeing things ruined for the sake of some company making even more money.

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Posted

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.

more

 

This! If nasa thinks they own the rights to mine the moon then i have no more respect for them. 

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Posted

Strictly speaking the space treaties only limit the claims and activities of governments, not commercial interests. There have been calls to set up some kind of regulatory structure where exclusive use zones could be established and monitored, but it's still early. Robert Bigelow of Bigelow Aerospace (expandable habitats and lunar bases, robotic space tugs etc.) is one of the major voices.

One suggestion is something along the lines of the 1959 Antarctic Treaty System but with commercial clauses.

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Posted

That and there's no real environment to speak of on the moon, and polluting/destroying it won't affect humans.

Think of the Aliens ...

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Posted

mooninites.jpg

 

"Dear NASA, I hope you can see this because I'm doing it as hard as I can."

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Posted

Yeah if you go to the linked article and read the comments you will see all the environmentalist talking crap.

 

Most Environmentalist are so far gone they would rather there be no people because then we cant affect the environment.

 

No need to visit the article. We have them here as well. :rolleyes:

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Posted

I don't know if I trust NASA anymore, what with the whole Armstrong doping scandal & then the Prism thing.

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Posted

A two ways ticket according to Google seems to be around $100 Million and Diamonds are around $55,000/gram ergo the return payload would have to be around  2KG of pure diamond just to pay for the journey.

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