NASA scientists have opened a pristine rock and soil sample from the moon returned to Earth from the mission Apollo 17, an event that never happened in over 40 years, that is the opening of the capsule containing a pristine rock sample e regolith of the Apollo era. The American Space Agency has decided to let its researchers exercise in view of future missions, especially for the Artemis project, which will culminate with the sending of a crew to our satellite.
Inside the container that was opened there is therefore the regolith, that is the layer of rock and earth that covers the surface of the Moon, collected by the Apollo 17 astronauts Gene Cernan is Jack Schmitt, exactly in 1972. It is not the only sample collected, in fact the couple collected another one, which will be opened in January 2020. This initiative is part of NASA's Apollo Next-Generation Sample Analysis (ANGSA) project: a study of samples collected using tools that did not even exist in the 1970s. that's what he said Sarah Noble, ANGSA scientist:
Today we can perform impossible measures during the years of the Apollo program. The analysis of these samples will maximize the scientific data obtained from the Apollo mission, as well as allowing a new generation of scientists to refine their techniques and help prepare future explorers for the lunar missions anticipated in the twenties of this century.
Francis McCubbin of the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston instead said:
The opening of these samples will allow new scientific discoveries on the Moon and will allow a new generation of scientists to refine their techniques to better study the future samples returned by the astronauts of the Artemis project.
Now the study these samples will allow to have information on the origin of the lunar polar ice deposits.