Plans to start mining the Moon as early as 2025 became more attractive this week. This is after a US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) team found evidence. First is that the Earth’s natural satellite may, underneath its surface, be richer in metals than previously thought. A team of researchers came to the conclusion that the lunar subsurface contains a higher concentration of certain metals. This is through using data from the Miniature Radio Frequency (Mini-RF) instrument onboard NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). Metals include iron and titanium than estimated.
The study, published in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters, contends the most popular theory surrounding the Moon’s origins. The hypothesis contends the satellite was formed when a Mars-sized object collided with Earth, vaporizing large portions of the Earth’s upper crust.
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“By improving our understanding of how much metal the moon’s subsurface actually has, scientists can constrain the ambiguities about how it has formed, how it is evolving, and how it is contributing to maintaining habitability on Earth,” lead study author Essam Heggy said in a statement.
The evidence was discovered while the scientists were looking for ice at the bottom of craters in the lunar north pole region, NASA said. It means that fine dust found at the base of those holes are parts of the deeper layers of the Moon, ejected during meteor impacts. As such, this dust represents the composition in deeper Moon layers.
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