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In a historic first, Australia is preparing for its first moon mission – a Lunar Rover in collaboration with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the United States.

Function of Australian Rover on Moon

Australian Rover

Screenshot @ YouTube

Wonderful Engineering reported today that Australia is working on sending a 50-million-dollar operational lunar rover into the orbit. The Australian rover, sent to the space as part of NASA’s next space mission Artemis, could land on moon in 2026. The story says that the Australian rover will attempt to extract oxygen from moon’s atmosphere.

The project intends to use the rover to find oxides on lunar soil and separate equipment to extract oxygen from the moon’s atmosphere.

ABC reported that Australia has signed a deal with NASA for this collaboration. The American space agency will be using the technology of the Australian rover to assess whether the soil of moon holds enough oxygen that, when extracted, can sustain a long-term presence of humans on the moon.

NASA’s Lost Moon Landing Tapes and Australia’s Recording

Australia’s role in supporting NASA through its tough times is most memorable in the big news that shook the world in 2009: NASA admitting that it lost the original moon landing tapes of 1969. NASA said the original tapes were “erased and reused” but that they have restored tapes of better quality showing the historic moon landing event.

The Register wrote that NASA seems to have confirmed that the original moon landing recordings have turned up in Australia.

The Parkes Observatory in Australia captured the 1969 live images straight from the lunar surface to magnetic tape.

The story added that the Parkes Observatory tapes were shipped to the Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland a year after the landing, but in 2006 NASA stated that they couldn’t locate the tapes. Later it was claimed that the tapes were actually sitting in a storage facility in Perth.