Report: NASA to Study Previously Unopened Apollo Sample

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Report: NASA to Study Previously Unopened Apollo Sample
Report: NASA to Study Previously Unopened Apollo Sample

NASA has opened an almost, 50-year old mint condition sample of lunar regolith from the final mission of the Apollo program, the Apollo 17. The sample will be used by scientists to practice techniques that will be used to study samples from the Artemis mission.

“We are able to make measurements today that were just not possible during the years of the Apollo program,” said ANGSA program scientist Sarah Noble, Ph.D., in a statement.

“The analysis of these samples will maximise the science return from Apollo, as well as enable a new generation of scientists and curators to refine their techniques and help prepare future explorers for lunar missions anticipated in the 2020s and beyond.”

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Sample 73002 was one of two rock samples brought back from the Apollo 17 mission by astronauts Gene Cernan and Harrison “Jack” Schmitt. It will be split up into parts for study, which NASA said “may allow scientists to gain insight into the origin of the lunar polar ice deposits, as well as other potential resources for future exploration”.

The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, revealed it had opened samples of the Moon rock brought back from the Moon marking the first time they have ever been analysed.

The space agency opened sample 73002 in conjunction with its Apollo Next-Generation Sample Analysis (ANGSA) initiative, designed to use new technologies that were not around at the time the samples were collected.

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ANGSA program scientist Sarah Noble, Ph.D., in a statement said: “We are able to make measurements today that were just not possible during the years of the Apollo program”

“The analysis of these samples will maximise the science return from Apollo, as well as enable a new generation of scientists and curators to refine their techniques and help prepare future explorers for lunar missions anticipated in the 2020s and beyond.”

Sample 73002 was one of two samples found on the Apollo 17 mission and its though study of it will aid future explorations on to the natural satellites surface.

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NASA has said the insight provided will be invaluable with the splitting of the sample even possibly providing “insight into the origin of the lunar polar ice deposits“.

Other NASA scientists also heaped praise onto the new testing of the samples.
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“The findings from these samples will provide NASA new insights into the Moon, including the history of impacts on the lunar surface, how landslides occur on the lunar surface, and how the Moon’s crust has evolved over time,” Charles Shearer, science co-lead for ANGSA, added in the statement.

“This research will help NASA better understand how volatile reservoirs develop, evolve and interact on the Moon and other planetary bodies.”

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