As far as Claret goes, 1972 was a A bleak year for world-famous wine. But NASA is confident that the Taurus Litro Valley on the moon did not suffer the same rainy growing season as Bordeaux, France, that year.
US space agency Getting ready to get rid of A very special vessel, not wine, but a sample of lunar rocks and regolith that had been sealed off for 50 years after Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison “Jack” Schmidt scraped the material from the lunar surface in December 1972.
NASA’s Apollo Next Generation Sample Analysis Program will open the 3.81 cm x 35.56 cm sealed metal tube at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas in the hope that the sample can teach NASA the tools and procedures that will be needed to take good samples from the Moon over the coming period. Artemis program. NASA’s Artemis III mission, scheduled for sometime in 2025, will return humans to the moon for the first time since Apollo 17 to sample from the moon’s south pole.
“Understanding the geological history and evolution of lunar samples at the Apollo landing sites will help us prepare for the types of samples that may be encountered during Artemis,” Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, said in a statement.
The lunar samples were sealed twice, and the NASA team began puncturing the outer seal on February 11, carefully monitoring for any gas that could leak from the inner seal, indicating a failure of the inner seal.
No gas was detected, and on February 23, NASA began breaching the inner seal, a process likely to take several weeks, according to NASA Blog. Scientists hope to capture any volatile gases, such as water vapor and carbon dioxide, that have been released by the sample’s melt over the past five decades. Techniques such as mass spectroscopy have advanced greatly since the 1970s, and scientists hope to study such volatiles in detail not possible for scientists 50 years ago.
That was the goal of keeping some of the Apollo samples in storage for this entire time, according to Laurie Gleese, director of the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters.
“The agency has learned that science and technology will advance and allow scientists to study materials in new ways to address new questions in the future,” she said in a statement.