Indium Corporation - Mailchimp

Indium Used to Seal Valuable Moon Samples

Category:
  • Hermetic Sealing
  • Indium

  • The moon controls our tides, some even say it controls human emotions. The various phases are named and we still watch, in wonder, when there is an eclipse.

    I still remember watching the first human step onto the moon. It was on a black and white TV in my parents' living room and it was 50 years ago. "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

    In subsequent missions, samples gathered and various experiments were conducted to see what could be learned from the moon that is so far away but so closely watched.

    In 1972, some samples were taken from the moon and have remained unopened. As the 50th anniversary of the original moon landing approaches, scientists believe they have the proper technology to open the sealed containers and study the contents for more answers ... was the moon originally part of the earth?

    I will be watching closely as the timeline is set to open one of the containers this summer. One of the reasons they have been able to keep the samples for so long is that they were hermetically sealed with INDIUM...yes indium.  Indium is a soft material that remains malleable and pliable at cryogenic temperatures. Other materials would have cracked and exposed the samples to outside forces in the harsh environment of space.

    Fifty years is a long time to expect such a seal to hold and it will be very interesting to see the results!  Stay tuned here for updates and, in the mean time, if you have any questions about how indium can be used as a seal, visit our website, www.indium.com, or contact me at cgowans@indium.com.