Scientists want to use lunar soil to give exploring astronauts oxygen

A group of researchers believes that they can provide exploring astronauts oxygen through lunar soil found all over the moon.

@JakConnorTT
Published Fri, May 6 2022 2:02 AM CDT   |   Updated Thu, May 26 2022 4:13 AM CDT

A group of scientists believes that the compounds found in lunar soil may be able to provide astronauts exploring the surface with oxygen and potentially fuel.

Scientists want to use lunar soil to give exploring astronauts oxygen 01 | TweakTown.com

In a new paper published in the journal Jule, a team of scientists analyzed lunar samples obtained by China's Chang'e 5 spacecraft and now plan to develop a system capable of extracting oxygen from the lunar soil. The process is called "extraterrestrial photosynthesis" and includes developing a system that uses solar radiation and lunar soil to electrolyze water from the moon, creating oxygen and hydrogen.

Notably, the scientists also propose that carbon dioxide exhaled by astronauts could be combined with hydrogen from the water electrolysis to produce hydrocarbons such as methane. Methane could then be used as fuel, proposed the researchers.

If a prototype system such as this is proven effective, astronauts exploring the surface of the moon will be able to obtain vital resources that would, in effect, extend periods of stay on the lunar surface while also taking the pressure of maintaining vital resources during periods of stay.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science and space news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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