The agency has previously published research that particulars a way to extract 96 % of the oxygen from lunar regolith. After extraction, the ensuing combined metallic alloy may theoretically be used to breathe, assemble shelters on the floor of the Moon, and even energy spaceships that push even deeper into house.
Any of these — nevermind all three — might be recreation changers for house exploration.
“One of many predominant drivers of the mission is to have the ability to use the assets which are already on the moon, moderately than having to take them from Earth to the Moon — there’s fairly a value related to taking issues into house, and the extra you may make the most of what’s there, the higher,” Metalysis managing director Ian Mellor instructed CNN.
“If you wish to go additional out into house, it’s a fuel station on the Moon basically, to get into deeper house,” he added.
Zapping Moon Rocks
In response to earlier evaluation of Moon rocks, oxygen accounts for roughly 45 % of their weight. The remainder is alloys of aluminum, silicon, and iron.
Metalysis proposes an “electro-deoxidation” course of that includes “electrochemical discount of metallic oxides to metals in molten salt (CaCl2) at temperatures of round 900 [Celsius],” in accordance with the agency’s analysis paper.
Related processes have already been used right here on Earth to extract minerals from rock, as The Guardian points out. The method, nevertheless, off-gases oxygen as a byproduct — as an alternative of capturing and storing it to be used later.
READ MORE: UK firm to turn moon rock into oxygen and building materials [The Guardian]
Extra on oxygen on the Moon: Scientists Say They’ve Found a Way to Make Oxygen From Moon Dust