Research Indicates That The Moon's Surface Has Enough Oxygen To Sustain 8 Billion People For 100,000 Years

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Research Indicates That The Moon's Surface Has Enough Oxygen To Sustain 8 Billion People For 100,000 Years

New scientific analysis has suggested that there could be enough oxygen on the Moon for 8 billion people to live for 100,000 years. The new insight is part of research into how to maintain human life off planet Earth.


While the Moon only has a very thin atmosphere made up of hydrogen, neon and argon, it is entirely unviable for human life. However, the Moon's surface is actually made up of 45% oxygen, albeit in solid rock form known as 'regolith'.


What scientists now believe is that this oxygen would be put into the atmosphere using electrolysis techniques and in the long-term build a breathable atmosphere in which humans could live.


The actual technique for extracting the oxygen and turning it into a breathable gas is already well known and workable. On Earth, electrolysis is commonly used for producing goods such as aluminium sheeting, which involves aluminium oxide being utilised to separate oxygen from the aluminium itself.


In the case of the Moon's surface, this electrolysis process would again separate aluminium from oxygen, but it would be the oxygen that would be the useful product. In order to do this on the Moon would require specialist machinery on a grand scale consuming huge amounts of energy. That said, solar power from the Sun could run machines over a very long period of time, possibly over hundreds or thousands of years until workable atmosphere emerged.


To this end, a Belgian start-up called Space Applications Services is building the technology that will allow us to do just that. Based on rudimental calculations, it is believed that enough oxygen may exist on the Moon to produce enough oxygen for 8 billion people for 100,000 years. What is also important to realise is that as the oxygen content from plants and other oxygen-producing fauna could be placed on the Moon, keeping the oxygen a permanent feature, much like it is on Earth.


It is not clear as of yet when any such mission to actually make this happen, or trying it out experimentally, will occur.


[Based on reporting by: science alert]


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Thinking Humanity: Research Indicates That The Moon's Surface Has Enough Oxygen To Sustain 8 Billion People For 100,000 Years
Research Indicates That The Moon's Surface Has Enough Oxygen To Sustain 8 Billion People For 100,000 Years
New scientific analysis has suggested that there could be enough oxygen on the Moon for 8 billion people to live for 100,000 years. The new insight is
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