Oxygen on Moon's surface may keep billions alive for 100,000 years
If a new study could be believed, Moon's surface has enough oxygen to keep billions of people alive for around 100,000 years.
Moon's regolith is made up of approximately 45 per cent oxygen. The regolith is easily accessible on the surface of the satellite.
Around one cubic meter of lunar regolith contains 1.4 tonnes of minerals on average. It includes about 630 kg oxygen.
As per NASA, humans need to breathe about 800 grams of oxygen in a day to survive. So, 630 kg oxygen can keep a person alive for around two years.
If the average depth of regolith on the Moon is about 10 meters, then all of the oxygen can be extracted from it. In a nutshell, the top 10 meters of the Moon's surface can provide enough oxygen to support 8 billion people on Earth for around 100,000 years.
It also depends on how effectively we can extract and use the oxygen.
The Moon has an atmosphere, but it's very thin and composed mostly of hydrogen, neon, and argon. It cannot sustain oxygen-dependent mammals, such as humans. But there is actually plenty of oxygen on the Moon but not in a gaseous form. It's trapped inside regolith, the layer of rock and fine dust that covers the Moon's surface.