NASA has opened a previously sealed rock sample returned by the Moon in 1972, marking the first time it has been analyzed. Next Generation Sample Analysis (ANGSA) has been developed to use new technologies, that were not available at the time of sampling.
"We are now able to take measurements that were simply not possible during the years of the Apollo program," said ANGSA program scientist Sarah Noble, Ph.D., in a statement. "The analysis of these samples will maximize Apollo's scientific output and enable a new generation of scientists and curators to refine their techniques and prepare future explorers for lunar missions expected in the 2020s and beyond. "
APOLLO 11'S MICHAEL COLLINS REFLECTED ON THE HISTORICAL MOON LANDING: "WE WERE ONLY REGULAR ASTRONAUTS" Schmitt. It is split into parts of studies that NASA said could "provide scientists with insights into the origins of lunar polar ice as well as other potential resources for future exploration."
Sample 73001, also collected on Apollo 17, is also being studied.
"The results of these samples provide NASA with new insights into the Moon, including the history of the effects on the lunar surface, how landslides occur on the lunar surface, and how the lunar crust has evolved over time," added Charles Shearer, more scientific ANGSA employee, in the statement added. "This research will help NASA better understand how volatile reservoirs on the Moon and other planetary bodies evolve, develop and interact."
In connection with the announcement, NASA has shared a picture comparing X-ray analysis from 1974 with an X-ray image. 2019 Ray Computer Tomography showing the technological advances of the past 45 years.
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"Opening these samples now enables new scientific discoveries about the Moon and enables a new generation of scientists to refine their techniques to better investigate future samples returned by Artemis astronauts," said Francis McCubbin NASA's curator for Astromaterials at Johnson Space Center in the statement. "Our scientific technologies have improved significantly over the last 50 years, and scientists have the opportunity to analyze these samples in a way that has not previously been possible."
NASA is due to return to the Moon in 2024 as part of its Artemis program.
] In March, NASA announced that it had selected nine teams for a total of $ 8 million to study the lunar samples for the first time to better understand the moon and prepare for future space exploration. Three months later, NASA opened the locked vault at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, where the rock samples from Apollo Moon were kept.
From 1969 to 1972, 12 astronauts carried moon samples totaling 842 pounds. Some of the rock and soil samples were vacuum-packed on the moon and never exposed to the Earth's atmosphere. Some were frozen or stored after spraying Apollo 11 in gaseous helium and have since remained untouched.
There are more than 100,000 samples from the Apollo Lunar Inventory, some of which have been broken into smaller pieces for study purposes
Perhaps ironically, Apollo 11 did not produce the least number of lunar samples, while Aldrin and Armstrong collected only 48 samples. NASA wanted to minimize the risk that astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong were exposed to because they were the first people to walk on the moon. The additional vehicle activity of the astronauts or the time they spent on the lunar surface outside the Eagle Lander lasted only 2 hours, 31 minutes and 40 seconds.
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