Oxygen from lunar soil makes moonbase reasonable
"Part of the advantage of the technique is that we're using the resources that are present on the Moon. We're living off the land, as it were."
- Dr. Eric Cardiff, engineer, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD - Scientists have paved the way for the first permanently manned base on the Moon by developing a way to 'squeeze' oxygen out of lunar soil.
To extract oxygen from lunar soil, scientists used a lens-like structure to focus sunlight on to it, heating it to 2,500C.
In NASA's latest tests, a 12ft-wide dish was used to concentrate the sun's rays on to 100g of a substance similar to Moon soil. After a few hours, one fifth of the substance had turned into oxygen.