India and its oxygen crisis

India has been for a while been hit with lack of oxygen supply after the Coronavirus wave that has swept the country. Many had not been vaccinated as did not experiencing any major crisis last year. Since the widely publicised wave that has swept the need and demand for medical oxygen is high.

Ludhiana, which being the biggest district with a maximum population of over 3.5-million passed through a harrowing time during the deadly second Covid wave, has built a strong medical oxygen infrastructure to meet the anticipated high demand of the life-saving gas during the possible third virus wave, the government has confirmed.

Besides accumulating maximum cylinders, the district has also acquired the highest number of oxygen concentrators in the state, the official figures have revealed.

6,165 oxygen cylinders made available

The data compiled by the Health and Family Welfare Department, which is available with The Tribune, showed that Ludhiana has made available 6,165 oxygen cylinders, including 4,774 D-type cylinders, 4,158 in private and 616 in government hospitals, and 1,391 B-type cylinders, including 855 in private and 536 in government institutions.

Reference: Tribune News Service

50 years ago, a spacecraft discovered oxygen in moon rocks

Space scientists have been intrigued for years with the possibility of finding usable oxygen on the moon — not in the lunar atmosphere, since there essentially is none, but in the rocks. As long ago as 1962 … [NASA researchers] predicted vast lunar processing plants turning out 4,000 pounds of liquid oxygen per month, both for breathing and as an oxidizer for rocket fuel…. Now the Surveyor 5 spacecraft … reveals it is standing directly over just the kind of rock that would do the job. — Science News, October 14, 1967


The moon is not yet dotted with lunar oxygen factories, but scientists are still devising ways to pull oxygen from moon rocks. One technique, proposed by NASA scientists in 2010, isolates oxygen by heating lunar rocks to over 1650° Celsius and exposing them to methane. Chemical reactions would produce carbon monoxide and hydrogen, which then react to create water. Passing an electric current through the water would separate oxygen from hydrogen, allowing the desired gas to be captured.
Excerpt from the October 14, 1967 issue of Science News