NASA has confirmed that it will finally open the samples collected from the surface of the moon during the Apollo mission nearly 50 years ago. Some of the samples have never been opened on the earth environment. NASA has selected two teams to analyze the moon surface material brought by Apollo 15 and 17. The analyze of the components will give NASA a better understanding of the components of the moon and how the materials are able to withstand cosmic rays.
The first group will be expected by the space agency to learn lots on the excursion to the moon before NASA next lunar trip to the moon.
‘This is a unique and exciting opportunity to use state-of-the-art techniques on lunar samples that have been preserved for almost 50 years and to study questions that scientists at the time may have asked but didn’t have the ability to answer,’ said Jamie Elsila, principal investigator of the team studying volatile compounds and possible precursors to amino acids.
‘It’s a privilege to have access to these special samples and we hope to contribute not only to increase our knowledge of lunar chemistry but also to improve our understanding of how to best preserve samples returned by future NASA missions.’
The second group of analyzing will use the noble gasses in the moon to investigate the geological history of the moon samples.
This decision comes coincidentally at a time when NASA is celebrating the 50th anniversary since the first human steed on the moon and in just a few years, NASA is going back.