For the first time, scientists from the US Aerospace Agency (NASA) will have the opportunity to access some of the samples taken by the Apollo 17 spacecraft from the Moon 40 years ago .
According to a November 6 press release by NASA, specimens of a stone and gravel taken by the Apollo 17 spacecraft from the Moon will be exposed to the Earth's environment in early 2020. This is also the first time. The scientists opened specimens that had never been "touched", collected during the Apollo space missions.
Astronaut salutes the American flag during the landing of Apollo 11. (Image: NASA).
On this occasion, in addition to specimen 73001, scientists will have access to specimen 73002, collected by astronauts Gene Cernan and Jack Schmitt during the space mission of the Apollo 17. Model. 73002 is taken from a layer of soil covering the lunar surface - called regolith - formed by the impact of meteorites. The location of this specimen collection is near the place where the Apollo ship landed.
NASA said that the analysis of these two specimens could help scientists gain useful information about the Moon, including the history of disturbances on the lunar surface, the occurrence of landslides. rocks here as well as the development of the soil that covers the planet.
There are still a number of specimens still taken by the Apollo 15, 16 and 17 spacecraft from the Moon. Scientists want to use the advanced analytical technologies of the 21st century rather than the technologies of the Apollo era to have a complete and complete view of these space samples.
NASA believes that advances in engineering technology such as non-destructive 3D imaging technology, mass spectrometry and state-of-the-art microsurgery will allow humans to conduct a large-scale study of specimens. Space in an unprecedented level.