It has been found out that the moon has chances of having frozen patches of carbon dioxide. The researchers are suggesting that these pockets can be utilized to form lunar greenhouses.
These CO2 sections are being called “cold traps” in a paper published in the journal Geophysical Research Letter. This occurs when gasses such as carbon dioxide are gathered and they stay in pockets due to frigid temperatures, lack of atmosphere, and lack of sunlight, according to Salon. This mechanism can lead to the possibility of sustained human life on the moon along with opening agricultural avenues on this celestial body.
“I think when I started this, the question was, ‘Can we confidently say there are carbon dioxide cold traps on the Moon or not?’” Norbert Schörghofer, the planetary scientist at the Planetary Science Institute and lead author of the study, said in a press release. “My surprise was that they’re actually, definitely there.”
As NASA prepares to launch the Artemis project to return humans to the Moon, the existence of carbon dioxide cold traps is a golden opportunity to claim the moon as a habitat for humans.
The presence of carbon dioxide there suggests that the gas can be used as a fuel. This means that there will be fewer resources needed to bring supplies to future lunar outposts. The gas could be converted into oxygen for astronauts to breathe as well. Carbon dioxide can also be used in greenhouses, which need the gas for plants to grow.
“These should be high-priority sites to target for future landed missions,” Paul Hayne, a planetary scientist at the University of Colorado who was not a part of the study, said in the release. “This sort of pinpoints where you might go on the lunar surface to answer some of these big questions about volatiles on the Moon and their delivery from elsewhere in the solar system.”