Learn about how scientist are trying to extract oxygen from moon rocks in order to launce rockets from the moon in the future.
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The Importance of Generating Oxygen from Moon Rocks No human has set foot on the moon since the last Apollo’s Space Mission in 1972 but the United States is planning to return. The moon is only 1/5 of the earth’s gravity so less energy would be needed to launch rockets from there for the planet missions to explore the solar system. There is one big problem—how to get enough fuel to the moon to launch rockets? Professor Derek Fray of Cambridge University is looking at an alternative idea—making rocket fuel from the moon itself. The problem on the moon is there is no free oxygen in the air and the United States require oxygen to power their rockets from the moon. To take oxygen from the earth to the moon would cost about $2 million pounds per ton which makes it very expensive whereas to create a process on the moon which would create oxygen from the rocks would make it much cheaper. The idea comes from a process, Professor Fray’s department developed for making titanium from titanium oxide. The researches are now adapting the technology see if it could be used to breakdown the type of rocks found on the moon and extract the oxygen from them which could be used to make rocket fuel. Since about 85% of the weight of a space rocket is the oxygen needed to burn the fuel. Generating oxygen on the moon would present a huge cost-saving for any plan moon-based space program.