Bricks made of lunar dust
A one-and-a-half block building block, produced as a demonstrator. Photo source: ESA
On Earth, they began to build from "moon bricks": European researchers are working with dust simulating the lunar so that later from something like this astronauts could build an inhabited base on our natural satellite, thus laying the road to the exploration of the cosmos by mankind.
Spaceship EAC (note: literally "EAC Spacecraft", program for supporting applied projects in the space industry) works with dust samples to prepare technologies and concepts for the upcoming exploration of the Moon.
"What's great about lunar soil is that it has up to 40% oxygen in its chemical composition," adds Aiden. One of the Spaceship EAC studies is being conducted in the direction of developing a method for extracting bound oxygen from the soil, in order to help astronauts extend their possible stay on the Earth's satellite.
The moon calls and beckons
Lunar dust is constantly bombarded by cosmic particles, so it is highly electrified; and this, in turn, can make it curl over the surface. Although Erin Tranfield, a member of the ESA team on lunar dust, insists that, for the time being, scientists have not sufficiently understood the nature of electrostatic phenomena.
The moon draws. Photo source: ESA
However, the chemical activity of the lunar dust or the consequences of using it as a structural material science is also not yet fully up to date. Erin, for example, trying to recreate the behavior of the lunar dust under the influence of radiation, thus further chopping particles simulating lunar dust. She expected to set them in motion, but instead destroyed the properties of the material.
"And that's another reason to fly to the moon again. We will need untouched samples from a surface exposed to long-term exposure to radiation, "Erin says. She, a biologist dreaming of becoming the first woman on the moon, will have enough and a few carefully packed grams.