He contacted NASA about the reels but "an agreement could not be reached", according to the auction listing, and off to the auction block they go as part of an auction dedicated to Space Exploration. It will assess the quantity and availability of resources on the Moon, test the technology required for processing those resources, and field test the concepts of operations required for sustained human lunar presence.
Astrobotic has been awarded a $5.6 Million contract by NASA's Lunar Surface and Instrumentation and Technology Payload (LSITP) programme to cooperate with Carnegie Mellon University on development and delivery of a groundbreaking rover which enables a new paradigm of exploration autonomy.
"The discoveries these teams make will be vital to our future exploration throughout the solar system with robots and humans", said Lori Glaze, director of the Planetary Science Division in NASA's Science Mission Directorate.
MoonRanger is a small, fast-moving rover that has the capability to drive beyond communications range with a lander and then return to it.
A simulation of the level of detail that L-CIRiS's infrared camera will reveal the moon's surface.
And it could map out what is, perhaps, the moon's most valuable resource: water. There are a few looking at charged particles and radiation on the lunar surface, in order to better understand the lunar environment.
RAC will determine how lunar regolith sticks to a range of materials exposed to the Moon's environment at different phases of flight. Components of this experiment were derived from a commercial payload facility called Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE) now on the International Space Station.
Heimdall is a flexible camera system for conducting lunar science on commercial vehicles.
LuSEE will make comprehensive measurements of electromagnetic phenomena on the lunar surface.
Thanks to a long-lasting orbiter, scientists have been able to create a detailed map of the surface of the moon, including the dark side, which never points toward earth.
LEXI will capture images of the interaction of solar wind with the Earth's magnetosphere.
SAMPLR is another sample acquisition technology demonstration that will utilise a flight-spare robotic arm from the Mars Exploration Rover program.
NASA has already approved a handful of companies to fly to and land on the lunar surface, as well as a first batch of projects.