Moon samples unsealed for NASA study after 40 years

Space Science

A time-capsule of a different kind is giving scientists the chance to do the analysis on rock and soil samples collected 40 years ago.

On the moon.

A forward-thinking program called Apollo Next-Generation Sample Analysis has kept the lunar samples since the Apollo 15, 16 and 17 missions all these years as science learned to ask questions it never considered back then. New instruments and measuring techniques allow study that couldn’t have been done in the Apollo days.

The bottom scan of sample 73002 was taken using radiograph technology in 1974 by NASA. The X-Ray Computed Microtomography scan above was taken in 2019 at the University of Texas at Austin. This is one example of the technological developments that are enabling a new generation to conduct new science on Apollo samples. (NASA)

NASA’s website says, “It sets the stage for scientists to practice techniques to study future samples collected on Artemis missions.” Artemis

“The findings from these samples will provide NASA new insights into the Moon, including the history of impacts on the lunar surface, how landslides occur on the lunar surface, and how the Moon’s crust has evolved over time,” said Charles Shearer, science co-lead for ANGSA. “This research will help NASA better understand how volatile reservoirs develop, evolve and interact on the Moon and other planetary bodies.”

Read the NASA report in full.

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