Scientists At Nanjing University
believe they can use compounds found in lunar soil to locally produce oxygen and fuel to support crewed moon missions.
The Team Analyzed Lunar Samples
collected by China's Chang'e 5 spacecraft in late 2020 and found that iron-rich and titanium-rich substances present in the moon material could act as a catalyst
The "Extraterrestrial Photosynthesis"
strategy uses lunar soil to electrolyze water extracted from the moon into oxygen and hydrogen.
Carbon Dioxide Exhaled By Astronauts
can also be combined with hydrogen from water electrolysis to produce hydrocarbons including methane, which could be used as fuel
Being Able To Produce
vital resources locally would reduce the costly need to transport them from Earth.
The New Research Could
have practical applications for China, which is planning a joint moon base with Russia.
International Lunar Research Station
(ILRS) will initially be robotic but is expected to be able to host astronauts by the mid-2030s.
NASA Is Also Planning To
establish a long-term, sustainable human presence on the moon via its Artemis program.