Airbus: Roxy on her way to the Moon

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Airbus, the forerunner of a new space age? The leader in aeronautics and aerospace marks a turning point in innovation, with the introduction of a brand new technology to achieve chemical reduction. Using laboratory-simulated lunar dust, Airbus, with ROXY (Regolith to OXYgen and Metals Conversion) technology, manages to produce oxygen. As Neil Armstrong said, when he set foot on the Moon for the first time … “This is a small step for a man, a giant leap for humanity.” An innovation that continues to push a little more the momentum of space conquest around the world.

Extraction of the regolith on the Moon, led by Airbus and ROXY (Airbus Video)

The Moon, a promising satellite for space conquest

Recently, researchers have discovered that the Moon has more water than imagined. The Earth’s natural satellite, which is 384,400 km from it, contains treasures that could well disrupt research and innovation around space. Indeed, the regolith, which covers the Moon, contains dust containing between 40% and 45% oxygen. This unprecedented discovery would allow astronauts to spend more time on the Moon, and why not, settle there in a sustainable way. It also revives the conquest of space, while a manned mission to mars is in the minds.

But beyond the use for a spatial presence, transformed lunar dust would also have an impact on the Earth. Metal production emits significant amounts of greenhouse gases. Thanks to ROXY technology, the use of lunar dust achieves no CO2 emissions. Global steel production currently accounts for 5% of total emissions, which is not to be overlooked. The use of these new discoveries would therefore allow us to follow a long-term sustainable logic. A response to the environmental challenges facing the world. Space technologies would thus have a role to play in improving life on Earth.

For Airbus, this is yet another step towards innovation, towards the development of new technologies. Research involving Airbus Defence and Space (Friedrichshafen, Germany), the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technologies and Advanced Materials IFAM (Dresden, Germany). But also the University of Boston (Massachusetts, USA) and Abengoa Innovacion (Seville, Spain).

In Bordeaux, space innovations are also developing

In France, research and innovation, especially in the space environment, are developing. Bordeaux and the New Aquitaine region are centres where aeronautics and aerospace occupy an important place. The NAASC (New Aquitaine Academy Space Center) is one of the projects that advances research and develops new vocations for students. This project, supported by the region, proposes collaborative projects, but also the creation of a Space Hub dedicated to space issues. ESA (European Space Agency) is also involved in supporting start-ups in the sector, and works through Business Innovation Centers (BIC) in the region. Considered one of the centres of excellence in New Aquitaine, aerospace is now making it possible to develop the innovations of tomorrow. These are all initiatives and supports that drive innovation, as Airbus has done.

Moon craters night space
The innovation discovered on the Moon by Airbus and ROXY helps to revive the momentum of space conquest.

Conquering space and seeking innovation in this sector is an important issue for international leaders. It is a universe that still contains many unknowns, but discoveries like that of ROXY allows us to take a new step towards the space life of tomorrow. A space life that combines with an improvement of life on Earth, especially by using new materials and products. The limits of space innovation are still a long way off, and are driving research to continue these advances. With the use of regolith and with emission-free treatment, Man can shape a new, cleaner world. All with natural products stamped “Made in Moon”.

Sources:

Press release – Airbus – 27 October 2020 – ROXY turns Moon dust into oxygen – Space

Wikipedia – Definition “Regolith”

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