Traveling to the Moon or Mars means astronauts and space exploration equipment have to cope with space dust. NASA has some ideas on how to reduce that risk.
Traveling to the moon or Mars means astronauts and space exploration equipment have to cope with space dust.
Dust from the Moon caused significant problems during some of the Apollo missions, because the super fine dust got into the mechanics of spacecrafts, or in the air seals of space suits, causing a loss of effective pressurizing.
Lunar dust is sharp, like small shards of glass, and dust from Mars that is stirred up by wind storms can cause a variety of technical problems.
If inhaled, space dust can be toxic, causing hay fever, and endangering astronauts while they are on missions in space.
In an effort to cut down on the dangerous problems caused by space dust, NASA scientists have come up with a way to get rid of most of the dust on Mars and lunar rovers.
By sending a few milliwatts of electricity into thin wires, the electrical field that was created eliminated 99 percent of the space dust during lunar and Martian landing simulations.
NASA will reportedly start testing the dust shield for missions to space in the year 2016.
Another idea for avoiding moon dust getting into the spacecraft cabin is to keep the spacesuit on the exterior of the craft, which would prevent contamination of dust.