Humans have not set foot on the moon since the Apollo 17 mission was completed at the end of 1972, and human exploration of the moon has never stopped. The moon is so close to us, but it’s still a difficult task for us to get on the moon. For decades, man has never stopped exploring the moon. China, the United States, India, Israel and other countries have implemented a variety of lunar exploration projects.
Apollo 17 astronaut Eugene Cernan and his spacesuit contaminated with moon dust.
Israel’s lunar probe crashed on the moon at the last minute, creating the “strongest creature” water bear bug to descend on the moon. It is so difficult for unmanned probes to land on the moon, not to mention to send people to the moon.
What’s holding us back from the moon? Surprisingly, one of the biggest obstacles to the moon landing came from the tiny dust on the moon, moon dust. The coating, originally used in satellite parts, could also be applied to spacesuits, the NASA research team said recently, hoping to make astronauts protect against moon dust like electronic devices.
Moon’s “hay fever” blocks human moon-exploring
In 1969, the Apollo 11 spacecraft landed on the moon, and the engine raised a large cloud of dust and made landing on the moon quite difficult. Little dust, even delayed the astronauts out of the capsule activities, when they plucked up the courage to get out of the spacecraft, the moon dust on the steps and let people slide straight; when the moon face, the rough moon dust actually hard to grind off the boots on the spacesuit! Tiny moon dust can also scratch spacesuits and even scratch the shield glass.
Most critically, the solar cells of the lunar landing equipment, after receiving sunlight, can release current and send voltage data back to Earth. However, when the monthly dust particles get on the surface of the battery, they also block the sun, allowing the voltage value to drop.
After the astronauts returned to the landing module from the lunar surface, the astronauts in the capsule developed sore throats, nasal congestion, sneezing, tears and other symptoms. They described the moon dust that broke into the spacecraft as “smelling like burning gunpowder”. Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmidt called the moon’s hay fever a symptom, which was more or less mildly alleviated by all 12 people who had landed on the moon. Hiding in the moon dust in spaceships and spacesuits, and even returned to Earth. A doctor who helped the Apollo 11 crew escape from a moon-covered capsule on Earth has also experienced “moon pollen disease.” This “twisted” state was unexpected before the human landing on the moon.
Apollo 17 astronaut Eugene Cernan was the last man to walk on the moon. “Dust is probably one of the biggest obstacles to our scientific operations on the moon, ” he said in his return briefing. I think we can overcome other physical, physical or mechanical problems — except dust. “
Sharp and live, personnel equipment is “threatened.”
So where did these flying dust particles come from? We know that the lunar surface is covered with rocky debris and dust, the moon is generally 5 to 10 meters thick, it is in the geological history of the moon by numerous meteorite impacts, cosmic rays and solar wind irradiation, large temperature changes caused by the moon’s rock fragmentation and other factors. Spacecraft landing, astronauts in the loose moon walking, will be high-profile up the moon dust, for a long time.
Twelve Apollo astronauts walked on the moon’s surface between 1969 and 1972, and their experiences led scientists and engineers to conduct an in-depth study of lunar dust. Today, it is well understood that moon dust is the result of billions of years of violent impacts by meteorites on the moon’s surface, which cause numerous silicate particles to be produced by the silicate-based moon’s surface rocks, while the high temperatures generated by the impact make them glass. Since the moon’s gravity is only 16.6% of Earth’s gravity, these particles can be suspended on the moon’s surface for long periods of time. On Earth, surfaces of fine particles like those that are smoothed by the long-term erosion of wind and water flow, but without this erosion on the moon, the sharp, sharp edges of these particles remain for long periods of time.
More seriously, because the lunar surface is not protected by the atmosphere, the impact of the solar wind’s charged particle flow causes the dust to generate static electricity, which is easy to form and adsorbed on the surface of instruments and spacesuits, which are indefensible and difficult to remove.
The effects of moon dust are much more than just a few sneezes for astronauts, and its safety impact on lunar instruments and the entire spacecraft is the most deadly.
The scientists found that moon dust covering the surface of the instrument can cause a number of failures, including mechanical structural crashes, failure of sealing mechanisms, decreased sensitivity of optical systems, wear of components, and failure of thermal control systems. When dust gathers on the surface of a solar panel, it directly affects the output of the solar cell. Moon dust also often enters the inside of machinery and equipment, which can easily cause excessive wear of the equipment. In the Apollo program, damage to the vacuum pump in the sample box was caused by moon dust. And it quietly drills into electronic devices, it will be deposited in various parts, resulting in thermal problems or short circuit steam of the equipment and other incredible failures.
To do this, astronauts must spend a lot of valuable time removing the moon dust from the surface of various devices, but using a brush to remove moon dust is not only difficult, but also easy to scratch the surface of the device. In addition, due to the sharp edges of moon dust particles, there is the possibility of scratching spacesuits or even scratching the surface of spacecraft in collisions with astronauts or spacecraft, thereby endangering the lives of astronauts.
Previously, an international team of more than a dozen scientists had studied the effects of long-term human exposure to moon dust, and found that moon dust was a huge threat to human health. Moon dust is similar to PM10, PM2.5 particles in the air around us, but because of its sharp jagged edges, highly corrosive and even some-radiation, it is far more harmful than similar particles on Earth. Moon dust particles, which are 50 times thinner than a person’s hair, can stay in the lungs for months, and the longer they stay, the greater the chance of side effects on people. The potential hazards of inhaling moon dust are not yet fully understood, but studies have shown that long-term exposure of lunar soil simulations can cause damage to the lungs and brain cells of animals.
Research responses to guide the pace of future exploration
Scientists say further research is needed to completely address the damage caused by moon dust. The study of the physical nature of lunar dust also suggests that if humans land in similar outer space environments, such as Mars, they are more likely to encounter a “Mars dust” problem similar to lunar dust. Therefore, the study of the response to moon dust, the next solar system of Earth-like planets exploration is very instructive.
Around 2016, a Boeing engineer named Kavia Manyap worked with scientists from NASA’s Glenn Research Center to come up with an active and passive dust-removal solution. Active dust removal is the use of static electricity dust removal program, by making the structure of special, a certain area of fiber fabric live, active adsorption of moon dust. In a simulated environment, it absorbs nearly 90% of the dust particles, while passive dust removal is the use of a special coating to moderate particles with static electricity and prevent it from gathering on the coating surface. At present, the project has successfully applied for a patent, but has not yet seen the product.
The coating previously mentioned by NASA is part of its dynamic response plan for asteroids, moons and Mars. The coating consists of an atomic layer of titanium dioxide, which uses an advanced technology called atomic layer deposition to coat titanium dioxide on to the dry pigment of the coating, using photochemical reactions of titanium dioxide and ultraviolet radiation to eliminate the effects of moon dust and similar particles.
It can be expected that in the near future, advances in human science and technology will greatly reduce the impact of moon dust-like particles on future space exploration. We believe that no dust can stop the pace of human exploration in space.