Resource Utilization - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Space Sciences

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The Moon

The Moon appears at first to have few resources to offer because of its barren surface and lack of an atmosphere. However, studies of lunar samples returned by the Apollo missions revealed that lunar rocks are rich in oxygen. Up to 45 percent of the mass of lunar rocks consists of oxygen locked up chemically in minerals. When the rocks are heated and mixed with other materials, the oxygen can be released and used as a propellant, or for breathing. The by-products of these reactions are metals such as iron and aluminum, which in powdered form could also be used as rocket propellant. Although there is no hydrogen contained in lunar rocks, a small amount of hydrogen has been deposited on the surface from the solar wind. This hydrogen could be harvested and used for propellants or combined with oxygen to make water.

There may be deposits...

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This section contains 1,160 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Resource Utilization Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Science Library: Space Sciences
Resource Utilization from Macmillan Science Library: Space Sciences. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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