NASA Opens Untouched Apollo Moon Rock Sample

In December 1972, astronauts on the Apollo 17 lunar mission returned to Earth with samples of rock and soil from the moon. On Tuesday, NASA scientists opened a sample that had been sealed and untouched for greater than 40 years.

The pristine pattern of rock and regolith was opened on Tuesday at the Johnson House Middle in Houston as a part of NASA’s Apollo Subsequent-Technology Pattern Evaluation initiative (ANGSA), which is using superior technology that was not but accessible when the samples initially returned to Earth.

The exams will serve as practice for finding out future samples collected on Artemis missions — NASA’s plan to land the primary lady and next man on the moon by 2024.”

Scientists hope that learning the unopened samples will present perception into the origin of lunar polar ice deposits. They may even be higher positioned to design instruments for future lunar missions after understanding how nicely Apollo tools labored.

“The findings from these samples will present NASA new insights into the Moon, together with the historical past of impacts on the lunar surface, how landslides happen on the lunar surface, and the way the Moon’s crust has developed over time,” stated Charles Shearer, science co-lead for ANGSA. “This analysis will assist NASA higher perceive how volatile reservoirs develop, evolve, and work together on the Moon and different planetary our bodies.”

NASA plans to send new instruments and technology to the moon with Artemis astronauts in 2024, with hopes of creating a sustained presence by 2028. These missions will lay a basis for the subsequent leap in space exploration — sending astronauts to Mars.