Moondust: a vital resource for the exploration of space?

Left: artificial regolith before electrolysis; right: after the extraction of oxygen

It is hard to imagine, but it has been almost 50 years since a human being set foot on the moon. The last time man personally visited Earth’s satellite was in 1972, the year when the Watergate scandal caused president Nixon to resign and the first portable calculators were introduced on the market. However, interest in the moon is growing again. NASA’s Artemis Program aims to return to the Moon by 2024, as a first step to set up a sustained human presence there. And a lot of serious research is being done to make that possible. NPT had a talk with Beth Lomax (UK) and Alexandre Meurisse (F) from the European Space Agency (ESA) in Noordwijk, who did significant research on the extraction of oxygen from lunar soil.

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