Assuming that the average depth of the lunar soil on the surface of the moon is about 10 meters, it can be a source of oxygen extraction.This means that the shallowest 10-meter lunar soil on the moon’s surface can provide enough oxygen for 8 billion people on the earth to use for about 100,000 years.
Although the moon also has an atmosphere, it is very thin, most of which are hydrogen, neon, and argon. There is no gas mixture for oxygen-breathing animals (such as humans) to survive.
Finding the best way to produce oxygen is at the forefront of the current space exploration field.
It is reported that in October this yearAustralian Space Agency and National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationSigned a cooperation agreement, plans to launch a probe to the moon, the main task is to collect on the moon’s surface the raw material-rock that can eventually provide oxygen for human production. In fact, there is plenty of oxygen on the moon, but it does not exist in the form of gas. Oxygen on the moon is trapped in the lunar soil, a layer of rock and fine dust covering the surface of the moon. If oxygen can be extracted from the lunar soil, then this oxygen may be able to support human life on the moon. Oxygen can be found in many minerals under the earth, and most of the rocks that make up the moon can be found on the earth (it is worth mentioning that there is a little more material from meteors).
Imaginary map of space migration
In lunar soil, the main constituent elements include minerals such as silica, aluminum, iron oxide, and magnesium oxide. All these minerals contain oxygen, but they cannot be directly breathed into the lungs by humans. Approximately 45% of the lunar soil on the moon is composed of oxygen, but oxygen is closely combined with the above-mentioned minerals. In order to break the strong bond between each other, electricity is needed to help. This is the electrolysis process. On earth, electrolysis is commonly used in manufacturing, such as the production of aluminum. Electric current passes through the electrodes to separate aluminum from oxygen through liquid aluminum oxide (commonly called aluminum oxide). In this case, oxygen is produced as a by-product. But on the moon, oxygen will become the main product, and the extracted aluminum (or other metals) will be a potentially useful by-product.
How much oxygen can the moon transport? Well, it turns out there are many.
If we ignore the oxygen in the deep hard rock of the moon and only consider the lunar soil that is easily accessible on the surface, we can get some estimates. On average, every cubic meter of lunar soil contains 1.4 tons of minerals and contains approximately 630 kilograms of oxygen. Scientists say that humans need to inhale about 800 grams of oxygen every day to survive. So 630 kilograms of oxygen can allow a person to survive for two years (or even longer). Assuming that the average depth of the lunar soil on the surface of the moon is about 10 meters, it can be a source of oxygen extraction.This means that the shallowest 10-meter lunar soil on the moon’s surface can provide enough oxygen for 8 billion people on the earth to use for about 100,000 years.
Of course, this also depends on how people effectively extract and use oxygen. In any case, this number is quite amazing!