A working solar cell prototype Blue Origin says it made from simulated Moon dirt. Image: Blue Origin

The idea of using dirt on the Moon to manufacture solar cells, which could power a permanent human settlement, may seem outlandish, but two companies say they’ve made big progress on that front: they each say they’ve already made solar cells using fake Moon dirt.

Jeff Bezos’ company Blue Origin says it’s been making solar cells this way since 2021 but just made that information public in a blog post on Friday. Separately, Lunar Resources, which aims to develop technologies for the “large-scale industrialization of Space,” told The Verge in a call today that it’s been doing the same for the last couple of years.

The hope is that the technology might one day power human life on the Moon

Each company still has to make an enormous leap: from…

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