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May 6, 2022

Extraterrestrial photosynthesis

Posted by in categories: alien life, solar power, sustainability

“In light of significant efforts being taken toward manned deep space exploration, it is of high technological importance and scientific interest to develop the lunar life support system for long-term exploration. Lunar in situ resource utilization offers a great opportunity to provide the material basis of life support for lunar habitation and traveling. Based on the analysis of the structure and composition, Chang’E-5 lunar soil sample has the potential for lunar solar energy conversion, i.e., extraterrestrial photosynthetic catalysts. By evaluating the performance of the Chang’E-5 lunar sample as photovoltaic-driven electrocatalyst, photocatalyst, and photothermal catalyst, full water splitting and CO2 conversion are able to be achieved by solar energy, water, and lunar soil, with a range of target product for lunar life, including O2, H2, CH4, and CH3OH. Thus, we propose a potentially available extraterrestrial photosynthesis pathway on the moon, which will help us to achieve a “zero-energy consumption” extraterrestrial life support system.”


Chang’E-5 lunar soil was used as the lunar extraterrestrial photosynthetic catalyst for water splitting and CO2 conversion. Solar energy and water were converted into a wide range of valuable products for lunar life support, including O2, H2, CH4, and CH3OH. A “zero-energy consumption” extraterrestrial life support system was thus proposed.

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