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The European Space Agency is developing a new vehicle to store oxygen on the moon's surface

The European Space Agency is developing a new vehicle to store oxygen on the moon’s surface

While we expect flights to Mars and the Moon to become a reality soon, access to oxygen remains a problem for potential space colonists. A special reaction can help extract oxygen from the moon’s materials.

How to get oxygen from moon rocks

But a special device, said to be developed by the European Space Agency in cooperation with Thales Alenia Space, the French-Italian company specializing in aerospace industries, will be able to extract oxygen from moon rocks, according to media reports, and the innovation may be another step towards creating a “lunar village”. real.

“We wish we had permanent lunar research stations and people could go back and forth instead of going up there every 20 years,” said Roger Ward of Thales Alenia Space. “That’s when you start thinking about lunar villages and the need for resources like oxygen to support that.”

According to the media, an unmanned spacecraft will “feed the rocks into the machine to be crushed into dust that can be compressed into disks”, and when heated, these disks are said to be able to release oxygen that can be stored in tanks for future use.

The European Space Agency is developing a vehicle to store oxygen on the moon’s surface

The European Space Agency has agreed a £840,000 ($1.1 million) deal with Thales Alenia Space to develop a “blueprint for the device”, and the project is expected to begin in the next two years.

Electrolysis has many applications, from separating water into hydrogen and oxygen to extracting oxygen from lunar rocks, and not so long ago, researchers at the University of Glasgow in the UK examined how electrolysis works in low gravity given that the moon has only one sixth of our gravity and one third of our own. Mars, and scientists have discovered that under lunar and Martian gravitational conditions, oxygen production can be reduced by about 11 and 6 percent compared to terrestrial conditions.

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Meanwhile, there is a lot of oxygen on the Moon, but it is not present in a gaseous form. Instead, it is found inside Earth, in the layer of rocks and fine dust that covers the surface of the Moon.

Oxygen can be found in many minerals on Earth, and the moon is mostly composed of the same materials. Moon rocks are dominated by minerals such as aluminum, iron, silicon, and magnesium oxides. All of these minerals contain oxygen, for example, lunar rock consists of about 45 percent cent of oxygen.

Source: Sputnik International