NASA has discovered a pre-sealed rock specimen returned from the moon in 1972 and will be analyzed for the first time.
The Space Agency stated that it discovered sample scale 73002 on November 5, in conjunction with its Next Generation Apollo Initiative (ANGSA), designed to use new technologies that were not at the time they were taken samples.
"Today we can make measurements that simply were not possible during the years of the Apollo program," says ANGSA PhD student Sarah Noble in a statement. "Analyzing these samples will maximize the return on science from Apollo, and will give an opportunity for a new generation of scientists and researchers to refine their techniques and help prepare future researchers for lunar missions expected in 2020 and beyond. "
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Sample 73002 was one of two It will be divided into parts of the study, which NASA said "could allow scientists to get an idea of the origin of lunar polar icefields, as well as other potential resources for future research."
Sample 73001, which was also collected on Apollo 17, will also be examined.
"The results of these tests will provide NASA with a new look at the moon, including the history of impacts on the moon's surface, how landslides appear on the moon's surface, and how the moon's crust evolved over time," adds Charles Shearer, a scientist coaching for ANGSA. "This study will help NASA better understand how volatile reservoirs evolve, evolve, and interact with the moon and other planetary bodies."
In connection with the message, NASA shared an image comparing 1974 X-rays and X-rays . radiation computed tomography from 2019, showing technological progress over the past 45 years.
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"The opening of these samples will now enable new scientific discoveries for the moon and allow a new generation of scientists to refine their techniques to better study future samples returned by the Artemis astronauts," says Francis McCubin, NASA's astronomer at Space Space Johnson in a statement. "Our scientific technologies have improved significantly over the last 50 years, and scientists are able to analyze these samples in ways that were previously impossible."
NASA plans to return to the moon in 2024 as part of its the Artemis program.  In March, NASA announced that it had selected nine teams, giving them a total of $ 8 million to help investigate lunar samples for the first time in an effort to better understand the moon, as well as help prepare for future space study. Three months later, NASA opened a locked vault at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, where samples of Apollo Moon rock are stored.
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from December 12 to 1972, 12 astronauts. Some of the rocks and soil samples were evacuated to the moon and never exposed to the earth's atmosphere. Some have been frozen or stored in gaseous helium after Apollo 11 dispersed and have remained intact ever since.
In total, there are more than 100,000 samples from Apollo's lunar inventory, including some of the original 2,200 were broken up into smaller pieces for exploration.
Ironically, Apollo 11 produces at least lunar samples, such as Aldrin and Armstrong collected only 48 samples. NASA wanted to minimize the risky astronauts encountered by Buzer Aldrin and Neil Armstrong, considering that they were the first humans to cross the moon. The additional transport activity of the astronauts, or the time spent on the surface of the moon beyond the landing of the Eagle, lasted only 2 hours, 31 minutes and 40 seconds.