NASA successfully extracts oxygen from lunar soil simulant2023-04-28 17:36 by Daniela
Scientists at NASA have successfully extracted oxygen from simulated lunar soil, even as the space agency works toward sending astronauts to the Moon through Artemis missions. Lunar soil refers to the fine-grained material covering the Moon's surface.
Oxygen remains a crucial building block for establishing a long-term presence on the lunar surface. In addition to using oxygen for breathing, it can also be used as fuel for transportation, helping lunar visitors stay longer and venture farther.
NASA's Carbothermal Reduction Demonstration (CaRD) team conducted the test in conditions similar to those found on the Moon by using a special spherical chamber with a 15-foot diameter called the Dirty Thermal Vacuum Chamber. The chamber is considered "dirty" because unclean samples can be tested inside.
"With the successful completion of this demonstration test, NASA has established that oxygen can be extracted from existing lunar material to provide humans with resources critical for survival and transportation on extraterrestrial worlds," the agency said.
"Our team proved the CaRD reactor would survive the lunar surface and successfully extract oxygen," said Nasa engineer Anastasia Ford. "This is a big step for developing the architecture to build sustainable human bases on other planets."
The same tech that was proved by the CaRD test could be applied to Artemis missions down the road.
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