Humanity is not only to return to the moon, but in the future even founded a colony. Such ambitious plans require extensive training, especially given the extremely hostile local environment. In an effort to find ways to protect against the main threats to the lives and health of future lunar colonists, the European space Agency conducts an extensive study of the lunar dust, trying to determine the level of danger for people and equipment which will be used there.
Long before the foot of the Nile, Armstrong stepped on the bottom of the sea of Tranquility, scientists and engineers were engaged in active study of the question of the dangers of lunar dust. That lunar dust is a real insurmountable barrier to the study of our satellite, it became clear even during the first test runs to the satellite missiles "Saturn 5".
The Main problem, as it turned out, was the fact that no one had no idea at the time, what is the surface of the moon. Maybe she was as solid as hardened lava, and maybe her so-called seas and craters could be filled to the brim with tiny particles of dust, once in which the spacecraft will drown, thrown in as sea cargo. But the answer to this question, discovered by astronauts program "Apollo", was unexpected and equally disturbing. Instead of the anticipated seas of liquid of solid particles it was found that over billions of years falls micrometeorites the lunar surface is covered with a thin layer of silicate dust that has a number of unpleasant qualities.
the Commander of the crew of "Apollo 17", Eugene Cernan after a walk on the moon
First, the dust was so dry, as possible. The constant bombardment of solar and cosmic radiation gave her particle static charge. Eventually this led to the fact that dust began to stick to the spacesuits of astronauts. And it was almost impossible to get rid of. As a result, the inner part of the lunar lander and orbiting command module was it dirty.
Worst of all, dryness and radiation made this dust is chemically active. The abrasive particles accumulated on the spacesuits, containers for soil samples, electronics and other equipment. As for the astronauts, all 12 people walked on the moon caught in the end, the so-called "lunar cold". After flying all the mentioned symptoms such as runny nose and nasal congestion. And these symptoms are observed a few days after returning to Earth.
a Particle of moon dust under a microscope
An international group of more than a dozen scientists going to examine the likely long-term effects of lunar dust on the human body. The researchers already suspected that the dust can lead to serious disease like cancer, however, the more accurate the effects of lunar dust remain largely unknown.
Silica dust poses a great danger on the Ground. It causes silicosis. It's an occupational disease of miners. It also occurs in people who live in areas with frequent dust storms, and also in areas with volcanic activity. However, lunar dust different from earth. Active terrestrial environment constantly wears silicate particles, obtachivaya them and making it more round. Particles of lunar dust, in turn, has sharp, jagged edge that makes her so clingy that she settled even on special protective boots worn by astronauts of later missions "Apollo". What will happen to light in this case – even scary to imagine.
NASA Astronaut Harrison Schmitt collects samples of lunar soil
Another problem is that since the moon gravity is 6 times lower than earth's, any of the nanoparticles trapped on Board the spacecraft or in the lunar station can remain undetected in the air for many months, continuing to poison the lungs of people.
According to ESA, one of the main problems in the study of lunar dust is that we have no real samples of it. It is necessary to investigate by simulation models created on the basis of materials from volcanic regions. To find a suitable material with similar to lunar dust is not so difficult. It is difficult to find a material with the same abrasive and other features.
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