The European Space Agency wants to remind the moon of oxygen and water
The moon can look cloudy, but its hidden resources have several space agencies that see the potential.
News: This week the European Space Agency (ESA) announced an agreement with ArianeGroup, the parent company of the launch supplier Arianespace, to study and prepare a possible 2025 moon task. The goal: my moon's surface for resources. They also recruited former Lunar X Prize competitors PTScientists to give the lander to the mission.
Precious moon dust: ESA focuses on regolith (a.m.'s lunar soil), which contains both oxygen and water. When extracted from the soil, these resources can be used to create fuel and life support systems in space. Other countries, such as China and India, have also been investigating pulling helium-3 from the moon; This substance is extremely rare on earth but abundant there. It can be used as safer nuclear fuel for power spacecraft.
What's next? Well, ESA still has a long way to go. This is step 1
Why is it important: Several space agencies look at mining as they plan long-term crew missions off the ground. Being able to acquire fuel and oxygen after lifting makes it easier to start loads and could allow longer stays. This year, more countries and former Lunar X price competitors are planning moon landings, so it can also bring interest in monthly operations to the forefront again.
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