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NASA To Spark “Lunar Gold Rush” In Move To Break China’s Monopoly On Rare Earth Metals

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Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

NASA wants to spark a “lunar gold rush” by paying companies to extract rare earth metals (REM) from the moon.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine recently tweeted that the space agency “is buying lunar soil from a commercial provider! It’s time to establish the regulatory certainty to extract and trade space resources.”

NASA To Spark "Lunar Gold Rush" In Move To Break China's Monopoly On Rare Earth Metals

The moon holds hundreds of billions, if not trillions, of dollars of untapped resources, including fifteen lanthanides, as well as scandium and yttrium – used in modern electronics. There’s also an abundance of Helium-3, a very rare gas, with the potential to fuel clean nuclear fusion power plants. This infographic from 911Metallurgist.com explains why NASA has set its eyes on the moon:

“Across history, human development has relied upon the finite resources available on Earth. But the moon – a seemingly barren rock – may actually be a treasure trove of rare resources vital to Earth’s future. And now, nations are looking upwards to a potential lunar gold rush,” 911Metallurgist.com states in the infographic’s intro.

NASA To Spark "Lunar Gold Rush" In Move To Break China's Monopoly On Rare Earth Metals

In a blog post, Bridenstine said NASA’s Artemis project “will lay the foundation for a sustained long-term presence on the lunar surface and use the Moon to validate deep space systems and operations before embarking on the much farther voyage to Mars.” He said the push to mine moon rocks would fully comply with the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, which outlines no country has a sovereign claim to the moon or other celestial bodies.

Bridenstine said, “we’re taking a critical step forward by releasing a solicitation for commercial companies to provide proposals for the collection of space resources.”

Adding that “when considering such proposals, we will require that all actions be taken in a transparent fashion, in full compliance with the Registration Convention, Article II and other provisions of the Outer Space Treaty, and all of our other international obligations. We are putting our policies into practice to fuel a new era of exploration and discovery that will benefit all of humanity.”

“This is one small step for space resources, but a giant leap for policy and precedent,” Mike Gold, NASA’s chief of international relations, told Reuters.

“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. “A company has to decide for itself if it’s worth taking the financial and technological risk to do this to sell a rock.”

NASA’s attempt to begin mining the moon in 2025 could be an attempt to break China’s monopoly on REMs.


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Daily Beatings

“He said the push to mine moon rocks would fully comply with the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, which outlines no country has a sovereign claim to the moon or other celestial bodies.”

The United States will just toss the treaty in the garbage, just like all the other agreements they’ve broken, once the resources can be exploited.


But what about the mining rights on Uranus ?

Lone Ranger

Haha… Good luck with that.

Fog of War

Dont worry, the moon is off limits. Its ” owners ” will not tolerate this.

Lone Ranger

You are probably tight. I heard rumors as well…

Lone Ranger

Moon Caliphate… CIA will switch from opium to Helium 3 mining…lol.

Lone Ranger

You would need a new ISS, bigger, with artificial gravity, new space ships to transport the cargo back and forth. Moon bases. To power all that you would also need mini nuclear reactors in the 100MW range, small enough to launch from Earth and fit in a small room sized space. currently only Russia is close to finishing one. You would also need a potent high powered magneto plasma dynamic drive system (impulse engine from star trek), Again currently only Russia has working prototypes tested in space… Who knows Trump could buy Russian tech same as United Launch Alliance does with the RD-180 rocket engines (Atlas V) and the RD-181(Antares). Problem with all that is rentability. A new space station alone that complex would cost around $400billion alone, and you can add everything else on top of that. You would have to mine tens if thousend of tons of gold to make it worth.

Ivan Freely

After all said and done, the total cost would be in the Trillions.

Ivan Freely

Just one problem. The transportation cost alone would bankrupt anyone in a heart beat. Yes, Space mining is the future but current technology (i.e. propulsion, power generation, etc…) makes such ventures a fantasy.

Regarding the Outer Space Treaty of ’67, it definitely needs reform. I have no problems with Luna (and maybe Sol) to be under the jurisdiction of the UN (if it’s still around), but anything outside of our Solar system should be free-for-all. However, given how nations are flaunting “international law” and agreements today, this treaty is rather meaningless.

Fog of War

Please, no more UN involvment in anything. I think we all understand its uselessness at this point.

Ivan Freely

Agreed. The UN rely on a unified Security Council to function properly which we never had. I’m all for disbanding the UN until the human race have fully established themselves outside of Sol.

Fog of War

Notice how Democracy is always ” fed ” to the common men, but never practiced by the PTB. I would support the UN if every nation on earth had one equal vote, but we all know that will never happen.

Ivan Freely

I noticed that a long time ago. But, I still wouldn’t support the UN, even if every nation gets one equal vote, as long there are no viable escape route from the reaches of the UN.

Ivan Freely

I doubt the UN would recognize them as Sovereign States. In any case, current technology and in the near future makes such ventures impossible to achieve.

Damien C

Even with the massive technology leaps mankind has made in the last 30 years and brand new super-materials to work with let alone even more advanced products coming on-line

Mankind is still ten years away from being able to send human being safely beyond low-earth orbit. With the equipment currently available to mankind it is just not possible to venture beyond low-earth-orbit and survive.

This makes mining the moon a joke idea as even if it were to be a fully automated mining operation it would require humans to construct the equipment on site and maintain it ..



Boys, D E A D S P A C E 4 Confirmed!

Raptar Driver

Awesome that’s my favorite game. I keeped my PS3 just for that.

James Adams

The world must stop all democratic nations from leaving Earth !!!


Some very rare Belushi that NASA is smoking.. that cant fly to mars without crashing into it and they want to mine the moon for moon dust..

chris chuba

Are these precious metals / elements somehow in more dense concentrations than here on earth? The reason China dominates in this area is because of their processing facilities, not because they have more resources.

Assad must stay


Raptar Driver

Such nonsense from our governments. Nobody went to the moon, nobody can go to the moon. The Van Allen belt prevents this, NASA itself said this.

Fog of War

” ((( Bridenstine ))) said, “we’re taking a critical step forward by releasing a solicitation for commercial companies to provide proposals for the collection of space resources.” ”

So the ZioAmericans want to pay ((( private ))) companies to extract the minerals, at which point, the ((( private ))) comapnies will turn around and sell the same minerals back to the public ? Seems legit to me.

Ivan Freely

This is why I support State-owned enterprises even with the inefficiencies. Unfortunately the US is averse to such things.

Fog of War

But you have it all wrong. ZioAmerica is even better because there you have enterprise owned states, not state owned enterprises.


too far fetched. cheaper to mine the bottom of the ocean

Ivan Freely

The Space community is trying to be relevant during times of hard economic hardship.

Assad must stay

hahaahhahaah i know right


In other news, Trump is claiming (probably in coordination with discussion with Tommy Jensen) that the hyper-sonic weapons well-devloped in Russia are actually stolen from non-working US ideas! See TACC:


Assad must stay


Tommy Jensen

We can easily live without electronics as we already have not finite, but infinite resources. The sun shines 24/7 to the end day of this universe, thus endless energy and more to a thriving earth.

Infinite fish, vegetables, water and fruit being renewed every year. The only problem on earth is the money exchangers and with them follow the slave traders. Let Americans use their time on moon mining. Go Amerifats, go go go go go go go!

Assad must stay

nothing but a fantasy

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