While scientists around the world are exploring the Moon to find ways to maintain a permanent human presence, researchers in China claim that the lunar soil has the potential to generate oxygen and fuel. They say that the soil on the Moon contains active compounds that can convert carbon dioxide into oxygen and fuel. These findings suggest that soil on the lunar surface could be used to obtain hydrogen and methane, which could power equipment and reside on the Moon. They can also create a breathable atmosphere in our nearest celestial neighbor.
There has already been a renewed interest in Moon exploration, with several missions planned to land on the Moon’s surface in the coming years. In fact, NASA Under this, again trying to send astronauts to the moon artemis Objective. The US space agency aims to use the Moon as a gateway to send humans further into space, including Mars. China also harbors such ambitions.
Chinese researchers proposed in their study published in the journal joule, to design a system that takes advantage of lunar soil and solar radiation to create oxygen and carbon dioxide. He called this the “extraterrestrial photosynthesis” strategy.
Nanjing University physicists Yingfang Yao and Zhigang Xu came to this conclusion after analyzing lunar soil retrieved by China’s Chang’e 5 spacecraft. They found that the samples contained compounds, including iron-containing and titanium-containing substances, that could serve as catalysts to create oxygen and carbon dioxide.
In addition to oxygen and carbon dioxide, the proposed system will also produce hydrocarbons such as methane, which can be used as fuel. Researchers said the strategy does not use external energy but the sunlight,
Several methods have previously been proposed to maintain a permanent human presence on the Moon, but almost all of them require energy sources to get there from Earth. This strategy significantly increases the cost of extraterrestrial existence.
Meanwhile, Chinese researchers say they are trying to test the system during China’s future Moon missions.