The Space Race was one of the hottest topics of the past century and the United States of America made history when they managed to put man on the Moon. However, breaking the tie of Earth’s gravity and seeing what is out there only made scientists more eager to find answers about what is out there!
The famous Apollo program is the source of many milestones in space travel.
Apollo 17 was the last manned mission to the Moon and one of the goals of the mission (which was part of NASA’s Apollo Next-Generation Sample Analysis initiative) was sourcing rocks from the surface of Earth’ satellite, back in December 1972.
The samples were brought to Earth and kept under proper conditions until recently, when NASA decided to open them for further and proper analysis.
Purpose of the tests
Francis McCubbin, curator of NASA’s astromaterials said: “Opening these samples now will enable new scientific discoveries about the Moon and will allow a new generation of scientists to refine their techniques to better study future samples returned by Artemis astronauts.”
He also pointed out the fact that scientific technologies have greatly improved over the course of 50 years and only now scientists have the means of efficiently analyzing the samples.
The reason behind these tests is that NASA wants to improve their techniques of analyzing future samples that will be harvested during the Artemis missions. The samples will also reveal details about the history of impacts on the Moon’s surface and how landslides take place on Earth’s satellite’s surface.