Enough oxygen on moon to sustain 8 billion people for 100k years: Report
Sydney : Can you imagine that the Moon has enough oxygen to sustain over 8 billion people for more than 100k years? A report has claimed that the top layer of the Moon – regolith – is made of 45 per cent oxygen. The report has been published in the Australian website The Conversation.
The report was published on November 10 and claimed that there is plenty of oxygen on the Moon, which is the Earth’s only natural satellite, but it is not in gaseous form.
"Although the Moon does have an atmosphere, it’s very thin and composed mostly of hydrogen, neon and argon. It’s not the sort of gaseous mixture that could sustain oxygen-dependent mammals such as humans," it added.
In October this year, the Australian Space Agency has signed a deal with NASA, it will send a rover to the Moon to collect lunar rocks that could provide breathable oxygen.
The Conversation report on November 10 further said that oxygen can be found in many minerals in the ground ‘around us’, adding the Moon is majorly made up of the same rocks found on planet Earth.
“Minerals such as silica, aluminium, and iron and magnesium oxides dominate the Moon’s landscape. All of these minerals contain oxygen, but not in a form our lungs can access,” it added.
The report further claimed that electrolysis can be performed on the rocks to extract oxygen from it.
“In this case, the oxygen is produced as a byproduct. On the Moon, the oxygen would be the main product and the aluminium (or other metal) extracted would be a potentially useful byproduct,” it said.