Blue Origin is one of the few commercial space agencies hoping to revolutionize space exploration in this century. The American aerospace company recently announced that its scientists have figured out a means of producing solar cells and transmission wire using only lunar dust. They named this new innovation Blue Alchemist. How did Blue Origin Scientists come up with this discovery? How will Blue Alchemist increase our chances of colonizing the moon? Continue reading to find out.
How Blue Origin’s scientists came up with the Blue Alchemist Method which could produce unlimited solar power
Blue Origin recently released a statement revealing the unique technique its scientists can deploy in building solar cells, aluminum wire, and cover glass. The statement also pointed out that the Blue Alchemist can be achieved by using molten electrolysis to separate aluminum, silicon, and iron from the bound oxygen found in the lunar dust.
This separation will help in extracting the materials needed for solar cell construction. The aerospace company also said that sunlight and the reactor’s silicon are all that is required to get the system functioning. Blue Origin revealed that it has been making solar cells and transmission wires from regolith simulants since 2021.
The primary goal of the aerospace company is to produce the abundant electrical power which we will need to establish a long-term human presence on the moon. Since the lunar regolith is the most abundant material on the lunar surface, the aerospace came up with this method to see how to create the steady electrical power the first moon colonists will need.
Blue Origin wants to reduce the need of transporting materials from Earth to generate electricity for lunar colonists using this technology. The statement released by the company revealed the process by which the lunar regolith is been converted into solar cells.
“We start by making regolith simulants that are chemically and mineralogically equivalent to lunar regolith, accounting for representative lunar variability in grain size and bulk chemistry,” Blue Origin wrote on its website. “This ensures our starting material is as realistic as possible, and not just a mixture of lunar-relevant oxides. We have developed and qualified an efficient, scalable, and contactless process for melting and moving molten regolith that is robust to natural variations in regolith properties on the Moon.”
The aerospace company also reveals that its reactor can use regolith simulants to produce silicon, iron, and aluminum via molten regolith electrolysis. The electrical current passing through the system will separate those elements from the oxygen which they bound with. Blue Origin is considering using oxygen for propulsion and life support to the lunar colonist.
How Blue Alchemist will play a role in the colonization of the Moon
NASA, CNSA, and other space agencies are making arrangements to colonize the moon before the end of this century. However, running and operating human habits on the moon will actually come with a price, especially a cost of transporting materials from Earth.
But with Blue Origin’s innovative method, space agencies can reduce the cost of transporting electricity materials from Earth to the moon. Keep in mind that Electricity with be a crucial part of lunar colonization in the future. Just like the earth, the lunar colonists will heavily depend on electricity for their day-to-day activities.
NASA has already established plans to send humans to the moon starting with its Artemis space program. The American space agency may likely deploy this method in establishing a permanent human presence on the lunar surface. A statement released by Blue Origin reveals that the produced solar cells can operate for over a decade in the harsh environment of the moon.
NASA has already supported Blue Origin’s New Glenn Rocket and its Orbital Reef space station. This implies that the American space agency may likely consider using the Blue Alchemist on its lunar habitat someday in the future.
Blue Alchemist is one of the most innovative technologies that will revolutionize our lunar colonization in the future. Blue Origin’s scientists are confident that this technology will surely play a role in reducing the cost of powering lunar habitats with electricity in the future. What are your thoughts on this unique innovation?