HOUSTON (Lunar Resources PR) – Recent awards from NASA and the National Science Foundation have created a path forward for Houston-based Lunar Resources, Inc., to perform mining of oxygen and metals on the Moon as early as 2024.
On December 30, the National Science Foundation awarded a $1 million SBIR Phase II contract to Lunar Resources for development of a proto-flight resource extraction reactor for the production of metals on the Moon. This follows previous awards Lunar Resources won in 2021 from NASA which included Phase II and Phase III SBIR contracts that focus on extraction of oxygen from the Moon’s soil.
“These awards signify the United States’ commitment to invest in and lead the industrialization of the Moon and space,” CEO Elliot Carol said.
America is not the only country investing into lunar resource extraction technologies. China, Europe, Russia, India, Japan, and Australia have established off-Earth resource extraction programs and are rapidly developing the ability to mine the Moon’s resources by the early 2030s.
While much attention has been focused on extracting water from the lunar craters, most of the Moon is composed of metals such as iron, aluminum, magnesium, and silicon. It has long been understood by the space industry that if the technologies could be developed to economically extract metals from lunar soil, it would eliminate the steep cost of supply from Earth and transform the space economy by the use of these raw materials to manufacture lunar surface and space infrastructure.
“The development and implementation of our resource extraction technologies will allow the U.S. to create a permanent presence on the Moon, and just as importantly, it will be a prime mover for America to become a space industrial nation,” added Carol.
About Lunar Resources
Based in Houston, Lunar Resources, Inc. is a leading space industrial company, developing space mining and manufacturing technologies for off-planet resource extraction, manufacturing, and construction.