NASA has opened untouched rock and ground monsters of the moon that were brought back by the moon mission of Apollo 17 in 1972.
The samples were collected by astronauts Gene Cernan and Jack Schmitt, who drove a tube into the moon more than 40 years ago.
The analysis will assist scientists in practicing techniques to study future samples collected during the Artemis missions.
The sample was opened on November 5 at the Lunar Curation Laboratory at the Johnson Space Center of NASA in Houston, Texas.
The Apollo missions have brought back 842 pounds of rock and earth from the moon, most of which have been studied.
However, NASA has left some untouched if it would use more advanced technologies to study.
NASA has opened untouched rock and ground monsters of the moon that were brought back by the moon mission of Apollo 17 in 1972
Dr. Sarah Noble, ANGSA program scientist at NASA headquarters in Washington, said: & # 39; Today we can perform measurements that simply weren't possible during the years of the Apollo program.
& # 39; The analysis of these samples will maximize Apollo's scientific output, enabling a new generation of scientists and curators to refine their techniques and prepare future explorers for lunar missions planned for the 2020s and beyond. & # 39;
The US agency has untouched samples from the Apollo 15, 16 and 17 missions until this week.
Two of those samples, 73002 and 73001, were both collected on Apollo 17 and will be studied as part of ANGSA.
Advances in techniques such as non-destructive 3D imaging, mass spectrometry and ultra high resolution microtomy will allow a coordinated study on an unprecedented scale.
The samples were collected by astronauts Gene Cernan (photo) and Jack Schmitt, who drove a tube into the moon more than 40 years ago
Sample 73002 is fully open and 73001 will be extruded in January 2020 – both were collected in a two-foot-long tube from a landslide near Lara Crater on the moon.
Francis McCubbin, NASA & # 39; s curator for astro materials at Johnson, said: & # 39; By opening these samples now, new scientific discoveries about the moon can be made and a new generation of scientists can refine their techniques to make future samples that Artemis astronauts have been returned for better study. & # 39;
& # 39; Our scientific technologies have improved enormously over the last 50 years and scientists have the ability to analyze these samples in ways that were previously not possible. & # 39;
Researchers used x-ray technology to assist with opening 73002 because it allows them to understand the structure of the sample before opening the container, explained NASA in a pronunciation.
& # 39; It also protects vulnerable soil components from damage during opening and handling, and offers detailed images of individual grains and smaller samples known as rocklets. & # 39;
Two of those samples, 73002 (above) and 73001 (below), were both collected on Apollo 17 and will be studied as part of ANGSA
Special tools will then be used to remove the samples, all in a sealed glove box filled with ultra pure dry nitrogen so as not to contaminate the samples.
Charis Krysher, the lunar monster processor who will open monster 73002, said: & I grew up with the stories of Apollo, they inspired me to pursue a career in space and now I have the opportunity to contribute contribute to the studies that allow the following missions to the moon. & # 39;
& # 39; It is such an honor and heavy responsibility to be the one who opens a monster that has not been opened since it was collected on the moon. & # 39;
Researchers used x-ray technology to assist with opening 73002 because it allows them to understand the structure of the sample before opening the container & # 39;
Scientists hope that the two monsters shed light on how the polar ice deposits are formed
Scientists hope that the two monsters shed light on how the polar ice deposits are formed.
Charles Shearer, co-head of science for ANGSA, said: & The findings of these samples will provide NASA with new insights into the moon, including the history of the moon surface impact, how landslides occur on the moon surface and how the moon's crust has evolved over time. & # 39;
& # 39; This research will help NASA to better understand how volatile reservoirs develop, evolve, and interact on the moon and other planetary bodies. & # 39;
WHAT IS THE ARTEMIS MISSION OF NASA AT THE MOON?
Artemis was the twin sister of Apollo and goddess of the moon in Greek mythology.
NASA has chosen her to personify his way back to the moon, causing astronauts to return to the moon surface by 2024 – including the first woman and the next man.
Artemis 1, formerly Exploration Mission-1, is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that enable human exploration of the moon and Mars.
Artemis 1 becomes the first integrated flight test of NASA & # 39; s deep space exploration system: the Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and ground systems at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Artemis 1 will be an unmanned flight that will provide a basis for exploring deep space in humans, and will demonstrate our dedication and ability to extend human existence to the moon and beyond.
During this flight, the spacecraft will be launched on the world's most powerful rocket and fly farther than any human-built spacecraft has ever flown.
It will travel 280,000 miles (450,600 km) from Earth, thousands of miles past the moon over a three-week mission.
Artemis 1, formerly Exploration Mission-1, is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that enable human exploration of the moon and Mars. This image explains the different phases of the mission
Orion stays in space longer than an astronaut ship has done without docking at a space station and returns home faster and hotter than ever before.
With this first reconnaissance mission, NASA is leading the next steps of human reconnaissance in the deep space where astronauts will build and test the moon systems needed for lunar surface missions and reconnaissance to other destinations farther from Earth, including Mars.
They take the crew on a different route and test the critical systems of Orion with people on board.
The SLS rocket will move from an initial configuration that can send more than 26 tons to the moon, to a final configuration that can send at least 45 tons.
Together, Orion, SLS and Kennedy's ground systems can meet the most challenging crew and cargo mission needs in deep space.
Ultimately, NASA wants to establish a sustainable human presence on the moon by 2028 as a result of the Artemis mission.
The space agency hopes that this colony will discover new scientific discoveries, demonstrate new technological developments and lay the foundation for private companies to build a lunar economy.
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