November 13, 2021 4:31 pm
Already “crazy” – or still science? According to an Australian researcher, oxygen can be generated from the deeper layers of the moon’s rock, regolith. Although this is technically very complicated, it is completely possible, according to the scientist.
The Moon’s atmosphere does not contain enough oxygen for human life, but beneath the planet’s upper layer of rock there is enough gas to supply eight billion people for 100,000 years – at least one Australian scientist claims.
In an article published this week in the trade magazine Conversation The moon is rich in minerals that combine closely with oxygen, said John Grant, professor of soil sciences at Southern Cross University in Australia.
Grant claims that the Moon’s regolith – the top layer of easily accessible rock – could contain enough oxygen for eight billion people to live for 100,000 years. This applies even if one ignores the bound oxygen in deep hard rock.
The scientist’s calculations are based on the assumption that humans need 800 grams of oxygen per day to survive, and the regolith is about ten meters deep. He states that the lunar regolith is made up of 45 percent oxygen, which is closely related to minerals such as silica, aluminium, iron and magnesium oxides.
There is a catch
Extracting “massive amounts of oxygen” from rocks is a simple process. The scholarship is eligible, however:
“But there’s a problem: It’s energy-intensive. To be sustainable, it has to be powered by solar or other energy sources available on the Moon.”
Grant’s article appeared sometime after the Australian Space Agency and NASA in October of this year signed an agreementTo send a spacecraft to the moon to collect lunar rocks and try to extract breathable oxygen from them.
The scientist also referred to the development of experimental reactors by starting the Belgian space application services He wants to improve the oxygen production process through electrolysis. The new technology could be sent to the Moon by 2025 as part of the European Space Agency’s On-Site Resource Utilization mission.
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