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The lunar highlands mineral anorthite, a type of plagioclase feldspar,[1] is similar to the ore bauxite from which aluminum is produced on Earth.

Background

Anorthite is a mineral consisting of aluminum (chemical symbol Al), calcium (Ca), silicon (Si) and oxygen (O).[2]

A smelter is used to split the ore to produce pure aluminum metal, and optionally calcium metal, free oxygen, "silica" glass (SiO2), and perhaps pure silicon. Alternatively, anorthite could be processed to produce ceramics like "calcia" (CaO, aka "lime") and "alumina" (Al2O3) instead of the metals, or silica glasses with various properties depending upon the metal oxides existing in the final glass product and any other impurities added.


Genesis Rock

Genesis rock in situ AS15-90-12227

Genesis Rock in-situ

The Genesis Rock is a sample of an anorthite rock retrieved by Apollo 15 astronauts James Irwin and David Scott in 1971 during their second lunar EVA, at Spur crater.[3]










References

  1. Wikipedia - Anorthite
  2. Lunar Geology
  3. Wikipedia - Genesis Rock