September 28, 2022

Chefs on the Moon Will be Cooking up Rocks to Make air and Water

NASA has actually postponed their Artemis mission to the Moon, however that does not mean a go back to the Moon isnt impending. Space agencies around the globe have their sights set on our rocky satellite. No matter who gets there, if theyre planning for a sustained presence on the Moon, theyll need in-situ resources.
Oxygen and water are at the top of a list of resources that astronauts will require on the Moon. A team of researchers and engineers are determining how to prepare Moon rocks and get vital oxygen and water from them. They provided their results at the Europlanet Science Congress 2021.

The capability of having effective water and oxygen production centers on-site is fundamental for human exploration and to run premium science straight on the Moon, stated Lavagna. These lab experiments have deepened our understanding of each action in the procedure. It is not the end of the story, but its an excellent starting point..
More:.

NASA has postponed their Artemis objective to the Moon, however that does not imply a return to the Moon isnt imminent. Oxygen and water are at the top of a list of resources that astronauts will require on the Moon. A team of researchers and engineers are figuring out how to prepare Moon rocks and get important oxygen and water from them. When we talk about lunar soil, we mean lunar regolith, the layer of dust that coats the Moon. The ability of having effective water and oxygen production facilities on-site is fundamental for human exploration and to run top quality science directly on the Moon, stated Lavagna.

This video reveals water extracted by the procedure. Credit: Politecnico Milano, CC BY-NC-CD.
The group is still working on optimizing the process in anticipation of an eventual battle test. Theyre dealing with the heating system temperature, length and frequency of the cleaning, the ratio of the gas mixes, and the size of soil batches. Up until now, theyve discovered that little batches of soil produce maximized yields when combined with the greatest possible temperatures and long cleaning phases.
The system produces silica as a spin-off. It also produces metals that require additional processing prior to being used as in-situ resources.

Like this: Like Loading …

Professor Michèle Lavagna of Politecnico Milano led the experiments. A consortium of business and agencies, consisting of the ESA and the Italian Space Agency, lags the work. Lavagna and others presented a lab presentation of their work at EPSC2921.
When we talk about lunar soil, we mean lunar regolith, the layer of dust that coats the Moon. The exact same layer that confused Apollo astronauts by finding its way into the lunar module, obstructing systems and interfering with instruments.
An Apollo 17 astronaut digs in the lunar regolith to study the mechanical behaviour of moon dust. Credit: NASA
Theres lots of oxygen in the lunar regolith because oxygen easily reacts with other components, especially group one aspects. According to the ESA, about 50% of lunar soil is iron and silicon dioxide, and about 26% of those compounds are oxygen.
Lavagna demonstrated a two-step procedure thats regularly used in industrial applications here on Earth. The simulated lunar regolith is vaporized in the presence of hydrogen and methane then washed with hydrogen gas.
Then the gases and the recurring methane go to a catalytic converter and then a condenser which separates the water. After that, hydrolysis separates the oxygen, and the system recycles the hydrogen and methane spin-offs.
Scientists and engineers have been dealing with the difficulty of drawing out in-situ resources on the Moon for several years now. One method involves utilizing molten salt electrolysis to extract oxygen. That method is adjusted from mining, and it also produces helpful metal alloys from lunar regolith.
But among the vital features of this more recent process, according to Lavagna, is its practically hands-off.
” Our experiments show that the rig is scalable and can run in a practically totally self-sustained closed loop, without the need for human intervention and without getting congested,” stated Professor Lavagna..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *