Monday, November 22, 2021 at 9:59 am – The star would hold enough oxygen in its soil for present-day humanity to breathe there. But, it is still necessary that the researchers succeed in extracting it.
No, it’s not a joke: humans could one day breathe on the moon. It seems that the star contains oxygen. However, it will take several steps before you can get there.
The riches of the lunar soil
The Moon’s atmosphere consists mainly of argon, hydrogen, helium, and other elements in smaller amounts. However, within its regolith, that is to say the part of the soil covering the bedrock, we find oxygen. To better understand: Regolith is the result of the many impacts of meteorites on the lunar surface over time.
According to researchers from Washington University in Saint-Louis, this part of the lunar soil is even made up of 45% oxygen. Assuming that this layer of rocks, stones and fine lunar dust is ten meters deep, scientists estimate that the regolith would contain enough oxygen to supply 8 billion humans for 100,000 years!
Easier said than done
However, collecting the oxygen will not be an easy task. To achieve this, researchers believe that it will be necessary to resort to electrolysis. It is a chemical decomposition process, carried out using an electric current.
However, this method is very energy intensive. This is why several companies and organizations, including NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), are working on projects to apply the process to the lunar context. Moreover, many are eyeing solar energy to ensure everything in a sustainable way.
But anyway, it will take several years or even decades before humans go out for a breath of fresh lunar air …
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