NASA is studying a "new" 50-year-old lunar sample to prepare for a return to the moon

NASA is studying a "new" 50-year-old lunar sample to prepare for a return to the moon  This month, researchers from the US space agency (NASA) are preparing to open a container of lunar soil collected by Apollo 17 astronauts 50 years ago. The deflated container, collected in December 1972, contains rocks and soil from landslide deposits in the Toras-Letro Valley on the Moon, the agency said, and if scientists are lucky, it may also retain some traces of lunar gases as well.  The report , published by Live Science on March 11, states that even at that time the Apollo team knew that science and technology would continue to advance far beyond what was possible in the 1970s, even if manned missions to the moon stopped (Apollo was 17, by the way, the last time humans set foot on the moon.)  Sure enough, the scientists were right. The researchers started a weeks-long process of slowly puncturing the tight tube - which measures 4 x 35 cm - using a device that European Space Agency (ESA) scientists called an "Apollo opener" that was built just for that purpose.  European Space Agency scientists use the name "Apollo opener" on the instrument designed to puncture a lunar sample tube (NASA) When astronauts collected the sample from the lunar surface in 1972, the bottom of the container was extremely cold, according to the statement published by NASA on March 4th, and scientists hope that this sample will contain volatile materials such as water ice and carbon dioxide, which are from It will evaporate at normal temperatures.  If researchers can extract these gases from the sample, they can study them using modern mass spectrometry equipment — instruments that measure and analyze individual molecules — and this could provide researchers with valuable insights into the geological history of the Moon.  Back to the moon "Each gas component analyzed can help tell a different part of the story about the origin and evolution of volatiles on the moon and within the early solar system," says ESA scientist Francesca MacDonald, chief scientific officer of the joint project with NASA.  The analysis will also help prepare astronauts for the upcoming Artemis missions, which will return humans to the moon for the first time since Apollo 17 - according to NASA - and the Artemis astronauts plan to land on the moon's south pole, where they collect samples - preserved in containers - of cold lunar soil. which we hope will enhance the scientific understanding of lunar evolution even further.  As part of the Artemis missions, NASA will land the first woman and first people of color on the moon and attempt to create a permanent lunar base, Live Science previously reported.

NASA is studying a "new" 50-year-old lunar sample to prepare for a return to the moon


This month, researchers from the US space agency (NASA) are preparing to open a container of lunar soil collected by Apollo 17 astronauts 50 years ago. The deflated container, collected in December 1972, contains rocks and soil from landslide deposits in the Toras-Letro Valley on the Moon, the agency said, and if scientists are lucky, it may also retain some traces of lunar gases as well.

The report , published by Live Science on March 11, states that even at that time the Apollo team knew that science and technology would continue to advance far beyond what was possible in the 1970s, even if manned missions to the moon stopped (Apollo was 17, by the way, the last time humans set foot on the moon.)

Sure enough, the scientists were right. The researchers started a weeks-long process of slowly puncturing the tight tube - which measures 4 x 35 cm - using a device that European Space Agency (ESA) scientists called an "Apollo opener" that was built just for that purpose.

European Space Agency scientists use the name "Apollo opener" on the instrument designed to puncture a lunar sample tube (NASA)
When astronauts collected the sample from the lunar surface in 1972, the bottom of the container was extremely cold, according to the statement published by NASA on March 4th, and scientists hope that this sample will contain volatile materials such as water ice and carbon dioxide, which are from It will evaporate at normal temperatures.

If researchers can extract these gases from the sample, they can study them using modern mass spectrometry equipment — instruments that measure and analyze individual molecules — and this could provide researchers with valuable insights into the geological history of the Moon.

Back to the moon
"Each gas component analyzed can help tell a different part of the story about the origin and evolution of volatiles on the moon and within the early solar system," says ESA scientist Francesca MacDonald, chief scientific officer of the joint project with NASA.

The analysis will also help prepare astronauts for the upcoming Artemis missions, which will return humans to the moon for the first time since Apollo 17 - according to NASA - and the Artemis astronauts plan to land on the moon's south pole, where they collect samples - preserved in containers - of cold lunar soil. which we hope will enhance the scientific understanding of lunar evolution even further.

As part of the Artemis missions, NASA will land the first woman and first people of color on the moon and attempt to create a permanent lunar base, Live Science previously reported.
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