Making the moon as habitable as possible is crucial to the success of man’s future alien missions. Scientists have recently discovered that there is enough oxygen on the surface, though not in the lunar atmosphere. It has now been discovered that there is enough oxygen on the surface of the moon for all humans to breathe for a million years.
The Australian Space Agency signed an agreement with NASA last October to send an Australian-built spacecraft to the moon. The main purpose of the Australian mission was to test whether rocks on the lunar surface contain oxygen that humans can breathe.
There is a very light atmosphere but no oxygen in the lunar atmosphere. Instead, the lunar atmosphere contains gases such as hydrogen, neon, and argon. Therefore, even on the moon, living things, including humans, would not be able to survive without artificial systems.
Although not gaseous, it is now recognized that the moon has enough oxygen for humans. Oxygen is mainly found in the lunar regolith rocks. The Moon is rich in elements such as silica, aluminum, iron and magnesium oxide. The fact is that all of these minerals contain oxygen, though not in the form that we can breathe.
Regolithic rocks on the lunar surface have been found to contain about 45% oxygen. It is just that oxygen is mixed with the aforementioned minerals. Energy must be applied to release this strong bond and release oxygen. Such methods are often used in situations such as the manufacture of aluminum. Aluminum and oxygen are separated by the passage of electricity through aluminum oxide. If aluminum is the main product and oxygen is the by-product here, then if the same technique is applied to the moon, oxygen will be the main product. Such methods cannot be applied to the moon as easily as on Earth. Many challenges need to be overcome for this. The Moon also needs to ensure the availability of energy sources such as solar energy.
It is estimated that an average of about 1.4 tons of minerals are found in one cubic meter of regolith. The researchers estimate that about 630 kilograms of oxygen will be extracted from it. According to NASA, a person needs about 800 grams of oxygen a day. With 315 kilograms of oxygen a person can live for a year. It is estimated that if oxygen were taken from the Rigolith rocks at a depth of 10 meters alone, it would be enough for one billion Earth humans to live on for one million years. That is why this discovery is said to have given impetus to man’s extraterrestrial travel.
English summary: The lunar surface contains enough oxygen for billions of people to survive for 100,000 years.