(ORDO NEWS) — Preparations for the ambitious program of returning people to the moon Artemis is in full swing. As part of the state program, SBIR NASA has allocated significant funds to Pioneer Astronautics, which claims that it can collect lunar regolith and turn it into usable oxygen directly on the satellite.
Pioneer Astronautics is one of four funded companies. She will share a total of $ 17 million with three other companies, which the space agency believes will make a huge contribution to the Artemis mission.
So what is the idea of the company? Pioneer Astronautics are going to collect loose soil on the moon and extract oxygen from it. It sounds absolutely unbelievable, but there is a certain sense in it. The thing is that the company intends to collect regolith, which can be at a depth of up to 15 meters, which means that some gases, including oxygen, can fall into the “trap” during collection.
The Pioneer Astronautics plan to extract and use this oxygen is technically difficult, which is why the company needs the serious funding that they received. By the way, this is not the first cooperation of the company with the space agency. Since 2006, Pioneer Astronautics has already won NASA funding several times.
Recall that the Artemis program, for which these capabilities are being developed, should not only launch people to the moon (man and woman) again, but also become a step towards the creation of a habitable settlement on the satellite, and an important step towards the development of Mars.
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