You are here

  1. Home
  2. News
  3. Spotlight on...
  4. Spotlight on the Moon

Spotlight on the Moon

In the run-up to the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Moon landing (20 July 2019), OU researchers address the question of whether it is possible to live on the Moon.

Pioneering the search for water on the Moon

OU researchers led by Dr Mahesh Anand have pioneered the search for water on the Moon for the last 10 years by analysing the Moon rocks returned to Earth by Apollo (NASA) and Luna (Soviet) missions in the 1960s and 1970. The new techniques developed in the laboratories at the OU have found much higher concentrations of water in some rocks than was evident in the original investigations.

Watch the video to find out more:

Simeon Barber

Miniaturising instrumentation to fly to the Moon

The European Space Agency (ESA) is funding OU research to develop new payloads for missions to the Moon.

The team led by Dr Simeon Barber is developing a miniature scientific laboratory called ProSPA to search for water on and below the surface of the Moon on a Russian lunar lander.

Read more

Prospect Ion Trap  Mass Spectrometer

Supporting NASA’s return to the Moon

The OU has been selected to support NASA’s return to the Moon.

OU researchers, led by Dr Simeon Barber, are developing an instrument called PROSPECT Ion Trap Mass Spectrometer (PITMS). It will fly to the Moon in 2021 on a commercial lander as part of NASA’s Artemis programme, and will monitor the gaseous environment near to the lunar surface.  

Read the news story

Simon Sheridan


Dr Simon Sheridan, Research Fellow in the OU’s STEM faculty, is developing LUVMI, a small lightweight rover, being designed to explore polar regions of the Moon. It will drive into a Permanently Shadowed Region (PSR), believed to hold vast stores of water. Instruments carried by the rover will look specifically for this water which may be potentially game-changing for future manned missions to the Moon. In the photo, Dr Sheridan is showing a young attendee at the Royal Society Living on the Moon! exhibition how to drive the Rover.

Watch the video to find out more:

Sungwoo Lim

Building on the Moon

A question that all the previous research raises is whether it is possible to live on the Moon.

Dr Sungwoo Lim, OU Research Fellow in Space Sciences, has created a bespoke industrial microwave to melt simulants of lunar soils collected by the Apollo astronauts to see if the microwave heating method is possible to fabricate building components on the Moon.

Read the news story

Contact our news team

For all out of hours enquiries, please telephone +44 (0)7901 515891

Contact details

News & articles

The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter flying over Mars

Funding to analyse hundreds of thousands of images from Mars spacecraft

An OU researcher has received just over half a million pounds to use new Machine Learning tools to analyse huge image datasets collected by spacecraft orbiting Mars.

29th February 2024
See all