Scientists from the European Space Agency have found a way to make oxygen out of moon dust in hopes to one day help astronauts use resources on the moon to make breathable air and even rocket fuel.
The Moon has a massive supply of oxygen – a valuable resource needed for future human missions . However, that supply is not in the atmosphere, but instead, contains within the dust on the lunar surface.
Stationed at the Materials and Electrical Components Laboratory of the European Space Research and Technology Center (ESTEC), which is based in the Netherlands, scientists are looking for ways to facilitate living off-planet.
Last year, a group of European scientists proposed an idea on how to extract oxides from lunar regolith – a term used to describe the mixture of loose dust and dirt that covers solid rock. Now, they’ve taken that research one step further and built a prototype extractor to show how the technology would work.