NASA moves forward with its innovative use of public-private partnerships to explore the Moon. The agency appointed commercial companies to collect lunar regolith and imagery on its behalf. ispace Europe S.A. (ispace EU), a lunar exploration company located in Luxembourg has been selected, along with its Japanese parent company, ispace, inc., and 2 others from the US. These 4 contracts are ground breaking because they are the first-ever commercial transactions for the collection of lunar resources. They are expected to play a key role in future space exploration, including the NASA’s Artemis Program, aiming at establishing a safe and sustainable lunar exploration architecture by the end of the decade. These awards are also paving the way to an increased participation of the private sector into space exploration activities and may lead to the commercial trade of space resources.
The Luxembourg Law of 2017 on the Exploration and Use of Space Resources is allowing collection and ownership transfer of regolith by commercial enterprises and made the participation of ispace EU possible.
The Luxembourg Embassy in Washington D.C. congratulates ispace and all other selected companies.