Scientists Harvest Oxygen From Moondust
Prior to this discovery, the only possible way of producing oxygen in outer space was by using electricity to break apart water into its base elements, oxygen and hydrogen. The electricity powering this process was usually taken from solar panels. However, this new process would allow oxygen production to occur without the use of water.
A prototype of an oxygen-generating plant that would be placed on the moon has been built in the Netherlands. The utility of this discovery is immense. Liquid oxygen is one of the main elements used to propel a space rocket. Additionally, finding a way to produce abundant oxygen is necessary towards making space travel more expansive and accessible.
Lunar regolith, also known as moondust, is typically 40-45% oxygen. The harvesting of oxygen is primarily achieved through a refined electrolysis process that was developed by Dr. Lomax and his colleagues. The electrolysis process is so successful that 96% of the air in moon dust is harvested from each unit.
Refueling stations on the moon for space rockets is now a possibility and will allow space exploration missions to be longer.