A group of researchers by examining the latest samples brought from the moon to Earth, found that the moon's soil is a favorable factor for oxygen production and fuel and sustainable human survival in the moon In an article published this week in the journal Joule, a team of researchers from Nanjing University in China analyzed samples collected during the Chang'e-5 mission. China achieved new results on lunar soil in 2021, stating that lunar soil could be used to support long-term human presence on the moon by providing extraterrestrial biological resources such as oxygen and fuel.
Changhai 5 For the first time in 40 years, it returned the moon's soil to Earth. According to the research team, lunar soil may facilitate human exploration of the moon and beyond. This can only be achieved if various missions, such as those in this study, can convert carbon dioxide to other sources on a large scale.
In examining the lunar samples, the research team found that these objects They contain compounds such as iron and titanium-rich materials that can act as a catalyst to produce the desired products, such as oxygen, using sunlight and carbon dioxide.
Based on observations, the team has an "extraterrestrial photosynthesis" strategy Suggested. The system uses solar energy from the moon's soil to electrolyze and convert the water extracted from the moon and the astronauts' exhalation into oxygen and hydrogen. Exhausted carbon dioxide is also collected during the hydrogenation process, a reaction that accelerates with the help of the moon's soil, and combines with hydrogen from water electrolysis. This process produces hydrocarbons such as methane that can be used as fuel. Be. According to researchers, this strategy uses no external energy other than sunlight to produce a variety of desirable products such as water, oxygen and fuel, and thus can support life on a moon.
Schematic process of using lunar soil as an accelerator
of oxygen and fuel production reactions
Credit: Yingfang Yao
Although the efficiency of using lunar soil as a catalyst is lower than that of catalysts available on Earth, the team is redesigning the test to make catalysts even better than lunar soil, including by melting it into a non-crystalline entropy material. -High production. Researchers are also looking for an opportunity to test the system in real-time in space, which is likely to be done in future Chinese moon-to-moon missions.
China's achievements in space are yielding good results. Learn the details that can help humans survive when they return to the moon or even when they live on Mars, as Ilan Mask and SpaceX did. In addition, a report on China's future missions to the moon indicates that the country will consider cooperating with others.
US-Russia relations, however, are challenging even in space. It is serious and life on the International Space Station may be considered an exception, but it is likely that these types of successful missions will continue with the cooperation of astronauts from different countries. So if China can help in this direction and offer specialized activities in the path of moon exploration, it will be very significant.
- 3D printing of soil for Tested for the first time on the space station
Cover photo: Graphic design of human bases on the moon
Credit: ESA - P. Carril
Sources: Futurism, SciTechDaily