• Home
  • /
  • Space
  • /
  • NASA Extracts Oxygen from Lunar Soil: A Pioneering Step Toward Moon Colonization

NASA Extracts Oxygen from Lunar Soil: A Pioneering Step Toward Moon Colonization


NASA has made a groundbreaking achievement in space exploration by successfully extracting oxygen from the lunar soil.

In a groundbreaking achievement for NASA’s lunar colonization plans, scientists have successfully extracted oxygen from simulated lunar soil, paving the way for establishing sustainable human bases on the Moon. This milestone is not only vital for the future of lunar habitation but also serves as a stepping stone for human exploration of Mars and beyond.

By colonizing the Moon, we can develop essential technologies and infrastructure that will facilitate venturing deeper into the solar system. The ability to generate resources such as oxygen on the Moon will significantly reduce the reliance on Earth-based supplies, ultimately making space exploration more efficient and economically viable.

Laser-Powered Oxygen Extraction

A team from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston utilized a laser to initiate a carbothermal reaction, extracting oxygen from simulated lunar soil in a vacuum environment for the first time. This innovative Carbothermal Reduction Demonstration (CaRD) experiment could be crucial for generating breathable oxygen and propellant for transportation on the Moon.

A Milestone for Lunar Living

According to NASA engineer Anastasia Ford, the successful CaRD reactor test represents significant progress toward building sustainable human bases on other planets. As part of NASA’s long-term Artemis mission goals, a permanent human presence on the Moon is slated for the coming years, with the first astronauts set to return as early as 2025.

Oxygen Harvesting Technology: Ready for Space Testing

Having reached a readiness level of six, the oxygen harvesting technology is now prepared for in-space testing. Aaron Paz, a senior engineer at NASA, notes that this technology holds the potential to produce several times its weight in oxygen per year on the lunar surface, enabling a sustained human presence and a lunar economy.

Artemis II Mission: Astronauts Bound for the Moon

Earlier this month, NASA announced the four astronauts selected for the Artemis II mission, marking the first crewed space flight of the program. The 10-day flight test will involve the Orion spacecraft, launched on NASA’s colossal Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, taking the astronauts within the Moon’s vicinity for the first time in over 50 years.

Orion’s Successful Uncrewed Test Flight

In November 2022, NASA completed an uncrewed test flight of the Orion spacecraft, which orbited the Moon before returning to Earth. This milestone is a precursor to the upcoming crewed Artemis II mission and the eventual establishment of human settlements on the lunar surface.

Have something to add? Visit Curiosmos on Facebook. Join the discussion in our mobile Telegram group.