NASA To Study Lunar Samples After 50 Years; Could Aid In Upcoming Artemis Mission


NASA has several ambitious missions lined up. But if we look back 50 years, the NASA Apollo 1 mission was one of the most dangerous and ambitious ones. The astronauts back then collected various rocks and dust from the Moon but NASA didn't have the technology to examine them. Now, 50 years later, NASA is studying the lunar samples.

NASA To Study Lunar Samples After 50 Years: All You Need To Know

To note, the astronauts from the Apollo mission brought several lunar samples. Some of them were studied right away. A few others were placed at museums and science centers. NASA also placed some of them in deep freeze to preserve any traces of gases or water or even organic materials on them.

NASA Studying Lunar Samples After 50 Years

Now, the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland is examining these lunch samples after 50 years with technologies that weren't available back then. The research of the old lunar rocks and dust have been opened the doors to a better understanding of the lunar surface, which is a harsh place without an atmosphere or flowing water.

NASA To Study Lunar Samples After 50 Years: All You Need To Know

"Our work allows us to use noble gases, such as argon, helium, neon, and xenon, to measure the duration a sample has been exposed to cosmic rays, and this can help us understand the history of that sample," said Natalie Curran principal investigator for the Mid Atlantic Noble Gas Research Lab at Goddard to Universe Today.

"We think some of the amino acids in the lunar soils may have formed from precursor molecules, which are smaller, more volatile compounds such as formaldehyde or hydrogen cyanide. Our research goal is to identify and quantify these small organic volatile compounds, as well as any amino acids, and to use the data to understand the prebiotic organic chemistry of the Moon" her colleague Jamie Elsila explains.

Lunar Samples For Future Moon Missions

The lunar samples play a pivotal role in understanding and examining the lunar surface. NASA has several upcoming missions lined up, including the ambitious Artemis mission to the Moon. NASA also plans to set up a large base on the lunar surface, which will further aid in lifting off to send astronauts to Mars.

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