Lunar bases might not need resources from Earth.
Blue Origin, the space exploration company founded by Jeff Bezos, has announced plans to use solar cells made from Moon soil to power future lunar missions. The company says that the solar cells, which can be made using materials found on the Moon, will provide a sustainable and cost-effective source of energy for long-term missions.
The announcement comes as Blue Origin prepares to launch its first lunar lander, called Blue Moon, in the coming years. The company says that the lander will be capable of carrying scientific instruments, rovers, and eventually humans to the Moon.
“We believe that the future of space exploration depends on sustainable, long-term solutions,” said Bob Smith, CEO of Blue Origin. “By using resources found on the Moon, we can reduce the cost and environmental impact of our missions, while also enabling new capabilities and discoveries.”
The solar cells will be made using a process called regolith electrolysis, which involves extracting oxygen and metals from Moon soil. The extracted metals can then be used to create solar cells, which can be used to generate electricity.
According to Blue Origin, the use of Moon-based solar cells could reduce the cost of lunar missions by up to 90%, compared to using traditional solar cells made on Earth.
“The Moon is a treasure trove of resources that we are only beginning to tap into,” said Dr. Sarah Noble, a researcher at NASA who studies lunar resources. “The use of Moon soil to create solar cells is an exciting development that could pave the way for new types of missions and exploration.”
The announcement has been welcomed by other experts in the field of space exploration, who see the use of Moon-based resources as a key step in the development of sustainable, long-term missions.
“The use of Moon soil to create solar cells is a great example of how we can leverage the resources available in space to enable new capabilities and discoveries,” said Dr. Brad Tucker, an astrophysicist at the Australian National University.
Overall, the announcement by Blue Origin represents a significant step forward in the development of sustainable, cost-effective energy solutions for lunar missions. With further research and development, the use of Moon-based resources could enable new types of missions and discoveries, paving the way for a new era of space exploration.
Via The Impactlab