Lunar "dust"

Each Apollo mission showed "dust" collection on the Lunar explorers suits.  Photographs of Apollo 17 astronauts Cernan and Schmitt around the Taurus-Littrow landing site showed considerable discoloration as a result of the clinging "dust".

On my Apollo 17 page I refer the reader to a book by Harrison Schmitt.  In this book Harrison describes in detail that this "dust" is not just an annoyance but a potentially serious hazard that must be mitigated.  I quote a passage in section 7.3 "DUST: A SPECIAL PROBLEM" on page 124 "Dust also prevented the knife-edge indium seals of any of the sample return containers (rock boxes) from maintaining a vacuum during storage in the spacecraft and during transit to the Lunar Receiving Laboratory."  This has been the case for every Apollo program - making any bio-containment measures questionable.

 Lunar Electrostatic Charging

Lunar surface astronauts have reported seeing a thin "atmosphere" now believed to be lunar regolith "dust" electrostatically charged.  This poses a new challenge to any lunar surface operation - the affects and accumulation of static electricity.  It has also been determined that electrostatic charging on the Moon is affected by the Earths magnetotail.

On September 7, 2013 NASA launched the LADEE mission to collect more information not only on lunar "dust" but electrostatic charging.    The findings of this mission will be invaluable.

NOV 27 , 2018 - This page is undergoing rework