Researchers at the U.S. Space Research Organization (NASA) are preparing to open this month a container of lunar soil collected 50 years ago by Apollo 17 astronauts. The company said the aerated container, collected in December 1972, contained rocks and soil from landslides in the moonlit Doras-Letro valley, and that, if scientists were lucky, it could retain some traces of lunar gases.
Why open a 50 year old model now?
Mentioned Report LiveScience released on March 11 that even then the Apollo crew knew that science and technology would advance more than was possible in the 1970s, even though manned missions to the moon were halted (by Apollo 17, the last humans to land on the moon).
The scientists were right. The researchers, using a device called “Apollo Opener”, built by European Space Agency (ESA) scientists, began a week-long process of slowly piercing the tight tube – 4 x 35 cm. For that purpose only.
When astronauts collected the sample from the lunar surface in 1972, the bottom of the container was very cold. To display Released by NASA on March 4, scientists believe the model will contain volatile substances such as water ice and carbon dioxide that can evaporate at normal temperatures.
If researchers are able to extract these gases from the sample, they can study them using modern mass spectrometry tools – instruments that measure and analyze individual molecules – and provide valuable insights into the lunar geological history.
Back to the moon
“Each gaseous analysis will help tell a different part of the story about the origin and evolution of volatile substances on the Moon and in the early solar system,” said Francesca McDonald, the ESA scientist who led the joint program with NASA.
According to NASA – this analysis will also help prepare astronauts for the upcoming Artemis missions that will send humans back to the moon for the first time since Apollo 17 – and Artemis astronauts plan to land at the Moon’s South Pole, where they will collect samples – to be stored in lunar containers on the cold moon. We hope to improve further.
He said that as part of the Artemis mission, NASA will land the first woman and first-color person on the moon and attempt to create a permanent lunar base. Direct science Before.
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