An anonymous reader writes "The New York Times reports on a new technique that may allow Oxygen to be wrung from the soil on the moon. This may pave the way for a moonbase, and allow permanent habitation on Earth's only natural satellite." From the article: "Lunar soil brought back to Earth is in short supply and highly prized, so Nasa researchers have been using matter with the same composition for its tests. The soil contains about 45 per cent oxygen by weight, but it is mostly 'trapped' in the form of silicon dioxide ... At the moment, all oxygen supplies would have to be brought from Earth, which is so expensive and energy-inefficient that it effectively rules out a permanent Moon base. "
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