NASA on Thursday announced it was in the market for Moon rocks and wants to pay companies to scoop out the dirt, take a photo, and then have it ready for collection by a future mission.

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

The US wants to become a leader in the exploitation of resources found in the soil or subsoil of asteroids and the Moon, a policy outlined in an executive order by President Donald Trump last year, despite an absence of international or legal consensus on the best way to manage extraterrestrial mining.

Read more at Firstpost