CANBERRA, Australia-Australia agreed in early 2026 to build a 20-kilogram semi-autonomous semi-passenger device to take NASA to the moon in search of oxygen.
A government statement said the passenger would collect soil containing the oxide and NASA would use separate equipment to obtain oxygen. Eventually, the oxygen released from the Moon’s surface will be used to ensure that humans are on the Moon and to support their future missions to Mars.
Anthony Murfett, deputy head of the Australian Space Agency, said NASA was impressed by the remote control technology of the 1,600-kilometer giant dump truck carrying iron ore from fields in northwestern Australia.
NASA administrator Bill Nelson said the deal would strengthen ties with Australia over space exploration that spans more than 50 years.
The contract depends on the rover fulfilling a number of conditions during the development process.