Early Habitability Window of the Moon
This project is based on the recently published discussion from Schulze-Makuch and Crawford, 2018 about whether our Moon could have had a habitable phase shortly after its formation and again at about 3.5 billion years ago. From an astrobiological point of view, the question whether microorganisms could have maintained or even thrived under these conditions is of particular interest.
To test this hypothesis, we conduct experiments in a lunar environmental simulation chamber at the Open University of London, where we expose different organisms to the conditions predicted to have existed on the early Moon. These are characterized by low pressure (1% of Earth’s gravity), different atmospheric composition (mainly CO and small amounts of H2S and water) and a volcanic ground material (lunar regolith).