June 28, 2022
Lunar soil contains oxygen to support 8 billion people

Lunar soil contains oxygen to support 8 billion people

moon;  Oxygen
Each cubic meter of lunar regolith contains, on average, 1.4 tons of minerals, including about 630 kilograms of oxygen.

With regard to developments in space exploration, we have recently seen that a lot of time and money has been invested in technologies that can enable efficient use of space resources. And, Among these developments, the search for the best way to produce oxygen on the Moon stands out..

In October, a australia space agency it’s NASA It signed an agreement to send an Australian probe to the Moon as part of the Artemis program. The purpose of this is Collecting moon rocks, which can provide oxygen for respiration.

Although the moon has an atmosphere, it is very thin and consists mainly of hydrogen, neon and argon, and this It is not a gas mixture Mammals can support just as much as humans.

Although the, In fact, there is a lot of oxygen on the moon; he is It is not only in gaseous form. It is trapped in the regolith, a layer of rock and fine dust that covers the surface of the moon. but , sAnd if we could extract oxygen from the regolith, would that be enough to sustain human life on the moon?

How much oxygen can the moon provide?

Earlier this year, Space Application Services Give Belgium announce it Three experimental reactors have been built to optimize the process of producing oxygen through electrolysis (An oxy-reduction chemical reaction resulting from the passage of electric current). Scientists plan to send this technology to the Moon by 2025 as part of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) mission.ISRU) resource usage On site.

If we ignore the oxygen trapped in the deepest rocky substance of the moon NS just looking at The regolith, which is easily accessible on the roof, we can reach some estimates.

NASA claims that humans need to breathe about 800 grams of oxygen per day to survive. thus, 630 kg of oxygen would be enough to keep a person alive for about two years.

Although there is a method for extracting oxygen from the regolith on the Moon, it is not certain that this method can be effective.

Now, suppose that the average depth of the regolith on the Moon is about ten meters, and that we can get all the oxygen out of it. This means that Ten meters of the lunar surface will provide enough oxygen to support 8 billion people for nearly 100,000 years on the lunar surface.. However, this also depends on how effectively we are able to extract and use the oxygen.