The next big challenge for lunar astronauts?Moon dust


As NASA and Private space companies are preparing to return equipment-ultimately astronauts-to the moon, and they are facing a threat that is almost invisible to any future lunar outpost: tiny dust particles. The ground lunar rock called the weathered layer can clog drill bits and other precision instruments. It is very sharp and can even scratch spacesuits. Since dust absorbs sunlight, it can also overheat sensitive electronic devices.

Dust particles also pose a threat to health. Although Apollo-era astronauts only went out for a few days during each mission, some people reported that when they returned from a moonwalk and took off the dusty spacesuit in the space capsule, their eyes were burning. And the nasal cavity is not clear.Images from the Apollo 17 mission, which focused on geology and took a 7-hour trip in the lunar rover, showing the astronauts Gene Cernan’s face The dust is flying like some coal miners in outer space.middle Technical briefing When he returned to Earth, Cernan told NASA officials that there was nothing to sneeze from moon dust. Cernan said: “I think dust may be one of the biggest obstacles to our normal operation on the moon. I think we can overcome other physical or physical or mechanical problems besides dust.”

The gravel blocked the radiator, which removed heat and carbon dioxide from the spacesuit and left a hole in Cernan’s outer spacesuit’s knee, according to reports. Phil AbelAs the manager of the Tribology and Mechanical Components Division of NASA’s Glenn Research Center, he studies lunar dust. (Tribology is the study of wear and friction.) According to a report, Apollo 17 astronauts brought dust into the space capsule, where it smelled like gunpowder, causing pollen to appear in the lunar module pilot Harrison Schmidt Symptoms. NASA Lunar Dust Workshop In 2020.

The following is a description of what happened when an Apollo 12 astronaut walked on the moon and returned to the lunar module:” [module] It was dirty and dusty. When I took off my helmet, I was almost blind. The rubbish entered my eyes immediately. “(This sentence appeared in a 2009 NASA report entitled”Risk of adverse health effects from exposure to lunar dust.”)

According to a study published in the journal, researchers at Stony Brook University exposed human lung and brain cells to lunar dust and found that it killed 90% of the cells Geographical health In 2018. In fact, according to Abel, if humans return to the moon, the health of the respiratory system is the primary issue. “These particles go deep into your lungs, which is a long-term health risk,” Abel said. “At the time, there were concerns that if we need to do more on the surface of the moon, some spacesuits will start to leak at an excessively high rate. This is something we have been working hard to improve.”

The last Apollo spacecraft left the moon on December 14, 1972, bringing Schmidt and Cernan home. Now, NASA officials have stated that they plan to land scientific equipment on the moon in 2022, and it is possible that astronauts’ boots will be placed on the surface of the moon in 2024. Artemis Project. Scientists at NASA’s Glenn Research Center will conduct a project called Characterization of weathering layer adhesion Mission, which will determine how dust adheres to the material during landing and lander operation. The information they get will help them figure out how to design equipment that repels dust and space suits that will not be damaged by the abrasion of the sandpaper-like grit covering them.


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