NASA will allow analysis of new lunar samples that have been sealed for fifty years

Moon rock samples placed under lock and key by NASA for nearly fifty years at the Johnson Space Center will be brought to light. This is an announcement by the same American agency that shows that the limited supply of samples from our natural satellite has not yet been exhausted.

During the Apollo missions, the American astronauts reported several samples which were then sealed pending analysis, a discrete collection considering that we are talking about over 1,800 pounds of material reported on our planet over the course of a few years. The samples are vacuum packed in a real vault inside the Johnson Space Center, a kind of treasure that few have seen live and even fewer have touched.

Now some of these pristine specimens, essentially never in contact with terrestrial air, will be able to see the artificial light of some laboratory so that geologists and scientists can analyze them with today’s techniques, clearly improved compared to a few years ago. Today we can have much more precise and sensitive scientific instruments than even just a few years ago.

What could have been done with a gram of material a few years ago, today it is possible to do it with just one milligram and it is possible to obtain much more information, not only concerning the Moon but also other planets bodies of the solar system. For example, analyzing lunar rocks, scientists determined the age of the surfaces of Mercury and Mars.

Other samples, about 15% of the total, are found in another vault at White Sands, New Mexico. Someone thought that these new analyzes of uncontaminated rocks were to be traced back to the 50th anniversary of the date that saw the first man set foot on the Moon but it is only a coincidence, as specified by Ryan Zeigler, one of NASA’s managers for these samples.

Sean Cox

I am a Physics professor at Florida A&M University and an amateur astronomer with a keen interest in not just my own areas of specialization, but also biology, robotics and computer science (I am also an amateur C++ programmer and Python developer). While my current responsibilities do not allow me to spend a whole lot of time writing about science research, I thoroughly enjoy doing so when I get the chance, and started NNTP News to engage in that hobby and also to try to get at least a few other people interested in the wonderful world of science.

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Sean Cox