In an attempt to study the viability of mining on the moon, the European Space Agency has announced plans to start mining in search of natural resources including oxygen and water.
The European Space Agency (ESA) last week announced a one-year contract with European aerospace company ArianeGroup to start mining for water and oxygen by 2025.
The agency plans to explore regolith mining – known as lunar soil or lunar dust – from which water and oxygen can be extracted, making it easier for humans to spend time on the moon in the future, according to ArianeGroup.
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As reported by CNN, the research could also produce rocket fuel on the moon, allowing future shipments to go into space. ESA's director of human and robotic exploration, David Parker, said: "The use of space resources can be a key to sustainable lunar exploration."
Scientists explain that the regolith is a loose soil layer of at least 3 meters deep covering the entire surface of the moon, which is rich in iron oxide and other minerals. Thus, it is possible to extract large amounts of oxygen. Water and fuel trapped in rocky soil materials, he wrote Telegraph.
In addition, according to the companies, the mission, which is currently under investigation, would not involve sending humans to the moon, but will be carried out with the help of robotic equipment.
"This study is part of ESA's comprehensive plan to make Europe a partner in global exploration over the next decade," said Parker.
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