NASA has opened a sample taken from the Apollo 17 moon 50 years ago

NASA has opened a sample taken from the Apollo 17 moon 50 years ago

(Washington) The Apollo missions to the moon brought a total of 2196 rock samples to Earth. But NASA has only just begun to open one of the last collections 50 years ago.

Posted by 5:04 pm

Until now, some tubes have actually been sealed so that they can be studied years later in light of the latest technological advances.

The U.S. agency “knew that science and technology would evolve, which would allow scientists to study materials in new ways and answer questions about the future,” Division Director Lori Glace explained in a press release. NASA Planetary Science.

The suspicious sample, named 73001, was collected in December 1972 by astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmidt during the Apollo 17 mission – the last of the program. The tube, 35 cm long and 4 cm wide, ran into the ground of the Torres-Litro valley.

This is the first of two samples vacuum-sealed on the moon. Thus it may contain gases or volatile substances (water, carbon dioxide, etc.).

The goal is to extract these gases, which are found only in very small quantities, for analysis using high-precision spectrometry techniques in recent years.

In early February, the outer protective tube was first removed. It did not reveal itself to contain any lunar gas, indicating that the sample contained in it was indeed sealed.

Then, on February 23, a week-long process was launched to pierce the main tube and collect the gas it contained.

In the spring, the rock is carefully separated and divided so that it can be studied by different scientific groups.

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The area where this sample was extracted is particularly interesting because it is the site of the landslide.

However, “there is no rain on the moon and we do not really understand how landslides occur there,” explained Julian Gross, Apollo’s assistant curator, in a session of questions on Twitter. “By looking at the deeper parts of the carrot, we may be able to understand why. ⁇

After 73,001, only three lunar samples were sealed.

When do they open? “I doubt we will wait another 50 years,” said senior curator Ryan Ziegler. But it would be interesting to be able to directly compare them with samples brought back by astronauts from NASA’s next lunar project, Artemis, he said.

The agency wants to send man back to the moon by 2025. Large quantities of gas must then be collected, and the present experiment also aids in better preparation for it.

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