Start-up to produce oxygen from moon’s surface

An Israeli start-up, Helios, says it has developed technology that can produce oxygen needed for fuel from the lunar soil. This will make multiple and long-term missions to the moon economically viable, as it will allow moon colonies to “live off the land” instead of having to carry all of their fuel and other resources from Earth.

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In 1970 Gerard K. O’Neill, a Princeton University physicist and space activist talked about space colonies and presented detailed concepts for human settlements in space. He designed a kilometre-long sealed cylinder, to be built primarily of processed lunar materials and powered by solar energy, capable of sustaining a human colony indefinitely at a point in space between the Earth and the Moon.

In his book The High Frontier (1978) he suggested that space colonies might be the ultimate solution to such terrestrial problems as pollution, overpopulation, and the energy shortage.

Jupiter nears 100 moons. Pips Saturn to be the planet with most moons.

Astronomers have discovered 12 new moons around Jupiter, putting the total count at a record-breaking 92, as published by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center. Saturn, the one-time leader, comes in a close second with 83 confirmed moons.

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Moons come in many shapes, sizes, and types. A few have atmospheres and even hidden oceans beneath their surfaces. Most planetary moons probably formed from the discs of gas and dust circulating around planets in the early solar system. Others were created by capturing objects that formed elsewhere and fell into orbit around larger worlds.