European Space Agency: Construction On The Moon Made Easier If The Project To Change Moon Dust To Oxygen Works12th Nov 2020
The European Space Agency has just awarded one British firm a contract to brainstorm and invent new tech that could transform moon dust and pebbles into breathable oxygen and the constituents of the other elements are to be used as construction materials on the moon. Some of these elements include iron, aluminium and other powdered metals.
The Aim of this Project
The main aim is to eradicate the need to carry construction materials from Earth. If this project is successful, it will open doors to establishing extraction facilities on the moon and will therefore make the processes much faster and cheaper.
The Genesis of the Project
The starting point that shows the possibility of oxygen extraction is that the necessary part of making the rocks is presumed to be oxygen. The mass of the element makes up about forty-five percent of a rock’s weight.
How ESA will Come into Play
Besides the European Space Agency’s plans, many more of the industry’s major players are looking into space exploration. Other mentionable players are NASA, Blue Origin and SpaceX, among others. Each of these companies is looking into going back to the moon and building permanent bases there. Therefore, this project will be very instrumental in these plans.
This ESA contract is the capital provider for Metalysis for 9 months. The funding will go into perfecting the process of extracting oxygen from the lunar rocks. The procedure involves passing an electric current through the matter to release the oxygen in the rock. The process complicates further when trying to find a way to catch and store the oxygen harvested.
The metals left behind will also be deemed fit for use by ESA’s project and could be used for other things. The purity of all extracted matter is of utmost importance. The oxygen will be blended with other gases in order to make it breathable. However, it may also be utilized as a part of propellant fuel used in rockets meaning there could be a possibility of a rocket fuel station on the moon.