NASA administrator, Jim Bridenstine, announced on Thursday that the company is looking for a private company to get to the Moon and obtain dust and rock samples from its surface as part of a technology development program that would help astronauts "live off the land" for manned missions in the future.
The space administration is ready to purchase these samples in amounts between 50 to 500 grams for between $15,000 to $25,000.
The agency "is buying lunar soil from a commercial provider. It’s time to establish the regulatory certainty to extract and trade space resources," Bridenstine wrote.
The material purchase is part of NASA’s Artemis lunar exploration program aimed at landing US astronauts on the Moon by 2024.
Earlier this year, NASA unveiled its Artemis Accords legal framework that governs the behavior of countries and companies in the space and on the Moon, in particular.
The framework stipulates the creation of safety zones around sites of exploration and mining.