The agreement will strengthen a relationship related to space exploration that dates back more than 50 years, says NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.
Australia has agreed to build a 20-kilogram semi-autonomous lunar rover for NASA to take to the moon as early as 2026 in search of oxygen.
The rover would collect soil that contains oxides and NASA would use separate equipment to extract oxygen from that soil, a government statement said. Oxygen extracted from the lunar surface would ultimately be used to sustain a human presence on the moon and support future missions to Mars.
READ MORE: NASA reveals plans to return to Moon in 2024
Australian Space Agency deputy head Anthony Murfett said NASA had been impressed by technology used to remotely control from 1,600 km (1,000 miles) huge dump trucks that transport iron ore from mines in northwest Australia.
Australia, we’re going to the Moon. 🌙— Australian Space Agency (@AusSpaceAgency) October 12, 2021
We’ve reached an agreement with @NASA for an Australian-made rover to be part of a future mission, harnessing our skills and expertise in the resources sector. pic.twitter.com/uoJLis2YPr
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said the agreement would strengthen a relationship with Australia related to space exploration that dates back more than 50 years.
The agreement depends on the rover meeting a range of conditions during its development