In preparation for NASA’s Artemis mission, they have recently opened up moon rock and soil sample that was retrieved on the Apollo 17 mission to the moon. This was done as part of the Apollo Next-Generation Sample Analysis (ANGSA) initiative. Tests are being conducted on these samples in order to analyse its properties which in turn will aid them in their next mission to land the next woman and man on the lunar surface.
"Opening these samples now will enable new scientific discoveries about the Moon and will allow a new generation of scientists to refine their techniques to better study future samples returned by Artemis astronauts. Our scientific technologies have vastly improved in the past 50 years and scientists have an opportunity to analyse these samples in ways not previously possible," was a statement from Francis McCubbin, the astromaterials curator from NASA.
The materials that were retrieved in NASA’s lunar missions were separated into samples. While some of them were studied at the time, the rest had been stored in order to make observations when quicker technology was available. The samples which are going to be studied will be put through many modern procedures such as destructive mass spectrometry, ultra-high resolution microtomy and 3D-imaging. The next Artemis mission my NASA is scheduled to take place in 2024.