Intensive research is underway to create habitable conditions for the people of the moon. This includes basic human needs such as water and air, long-term energy sources, building mechanisms for other housing goods and others to live there for a long time.
Chinese scientists said in their study that lunar soil contains active substances that can convert carbon dioxide into oxygen and fuel. These results came from an investigation into Chinese samples brought from the moon last year on a Chinese unmanned mission to Earth.
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Finding resources on the moon
This report by Chinese scientists was published in the journal Joule. Researchers are now investigating whether the Moon’s resources could be useful for human research there and beyond. Material scientists Yingfang Yao and Jingang Zhou from Nanjing University are trying to develop a system that takes advantage of the moon’s soil and solar radiation.
Both are abundant resources on the moon. After analyzing the soil brought to Earth by the Chinese spacecraft Chang’e 5, the team found that these samples contained materials rich in iron and titanium. These substances have the ability to act as catalysts that can release products such as oxygen from sunlight and carbon dioxide.
Photosynthesis outside the Earth
Based on their observations, the team proposed the technique of “photosynthesis outside the Earth”. In this system, the lunar soil will be used in the process of electrolysis of water, which will be obtained from the breathing process of the Moon and astronauts. In this process, oxygen and hydrogen will be mixed with the help of sunlight.
How to get fuel
The carbon dioxide released by the breath of people living on the moon will also be deposited and mixed with hydrogen obtained by electrolysis. In doing so, the soil will act as a catalyst in the hydrogenation process. This will release hydrocarbons such as methane, which can be used as fuel.
Use only sunlight
Researchers say this strategy will use no external energy other than sunlight. It can provide various products such as water, oxygen and fuel that will be very useful in sustaining life on the moon. The team will try to test this system in future missions in China.
Yao explained that they used environmental resources “on the spot” to reduce the payload of the rocket and that their strategy was to provide a sustainable environment for life outside the Earth. The study says that catalysts found in the soil of the moon are less effective than those on Earth.
Researchers say they are trying to make their system better and more efficient. Most of the strategies that have been proposed in the past for these purposes must be derived from the Earth itself. He has an instrument sent aboard NASA’s Perseverance Mars, which produces oxygen from carbon dioxide but requires a nuclear battery.
It is said that just as the 17th century became an era of sea voyages, this century is becoming an age of space.