The moon has water we could
use, subterranean caves we could inhabit, and now, it seems, a native way to generate a steady source of usable energy.
With the upcoming Artemis project
from NASA that aims to bring humans back to the satellite, it’s more important than ever to research and invest in resources for a long-term lunar stay.
Researchers found that chemical
compounds in lunar soil are capable of transforming carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and hydrocarbons like methane that can be used as fuel.
The team says these chemical
compounds can act as catalysts—substances that speed up chemical reactions—to form an extraterrestrial photosynthesis system.
It goes back to one big
challenge standing in the way of sustainable living outside Earth: resources. You can only bring so much breathable air, usable water, and fuel on a space mission.
While scientists are developing
technologies that allow astronauts to tap into planetary resources, those technologies still require elements from home.
It’s crucial then to
make like the Swiss Family Robinson and survive entirely on the resources that the moon can provide.