ANKARA — Two private firms from Japan and Israel are collaborating “to generate oxygen on the Moon,” an experimental project that could pave the way for future “long-term lunar missions independent of Earth.”
Israel’s Helios Project Ltd will run tests “to extract oxygen by melting lunar soil at a high temperature and electrolyzing it,” while Japan’s Ispace Inc. will provide equipment for the project “twice between 2023 and 2025,” Anadolu Agency quoted Japan’s Kyodo News.
“We are very excited by their technology and we believe this effort will stimulate more players to enter this market,” Takeshi Hakamada, CEO of Ispace, said during the signing ceremony held at the Japanese Embassy in Tel Aviv last month.
“We hope there will be many more opportunities to collaborate on the shared interest in lunar exploration together,” Hakamada said, who joined the event online from Tokyo.
If the experiments are successful, the Israeli firm expects to generate 250 kilogrammes of oxygen from 1 tonne of lunar soil, the report said.
The agreement is the first collaboration between Japanese and Israeli private companies in the field of space development, it added.
Jonathan Geifman, CEO of Helios, said the possible extraction of oxygen from lunar soil would prove “vital for humans to engage in activities on the Moon in the future.”
According to information on its website, Helios has been working on a reactor that can extract oxygen and metals such as iron, aluminum and silicon from lunar soil “in order to allow Moon colonists to live off the land,” the report said.