October 15, 2013 15:47
Lunar regolith studies may help solve solar system life mystery - scientist
MOSCOW. Oct 15 (Interfax) - The mystery of the emergence of life in the solar system may be hidden in the lunar poles, laboratory head from the Russian Academy of Sciences Space Research Institute Igor Mitrofanov said.
"What is the origin of life in the solar system? If life was imported, brought here by comets, then the answer can be found in the lunar poles, nature's 'refrigerators' situated in our immediate vicinity," Mitrofanov told reporters at the solar system symposium hosted by the institute on Tuesday.
Comets have been importing volatile compounds to the Moon from deep space throughout its entire life cycle and these compounds could have been stored exclusively on the poles and on the dark side of the Moon, he said.
"Regolith brought to the Earth from the lunar polar areas will help us study both the Moon and the comets, which have visited it," the scientist said.
The Luna-27 landing module, which will examine polar areas of the Moon, may shed light on the origins of life in the solar system. The project is scheduled for 2019, he said.
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