Scientists Extract Oxygen From Simulated Lunar Soil Under Vacuum

 / Go to the mediabankView of the moon / Go to the mediabankInternationalIndiaAfricaOxygen is an essential element for sustaining life on Earth. It is used in a variety of important applications such as in medical treatments, welding, and cutting, as well as in the production of steel and other metals.Researchers from NASA’s Carbothermal Reduction Demonstration have successfully extracted oxygen from an artificial material that mimics lunar regolith, a combination of rock chips, mineral fragments and a component only found on the Moon called agglutinates. For the first time, such an experiment has been conducted in a vacuum, in conditions close to the realities of the future lunar base.Scientists placed a carbon-thermal reactor developed by Sierra Space in a special spherical thermovacuum chamber. They used a powerful laser to simulate heat from solar energy to melt the regolith analogue and extract oxygen through a carbothermal reduction process. The tests were conducted under conditions similar to those that would be found on the Moon.In order to use carbothermic reduction to produce oxygen on the Moon, the carbothermic reactor must be able to hold pressure. The material must be able to move in and out of the reaction zone and the gases must not escape. Tests of the reactor functioning in a vacuum have fully met these requirements and the prototype is ready to be tested in space.Mystery of Origins of Earth’s Oxygen Takes New Twist After Tantalizing Study6 December 2022, 13:52 GMT

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