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The term lunar soil is often used interchangeably with lunar regolith but typically refers to only the finer fraction of regolith, that which is composed of grains one centimeter in diameter or less. Lunar dust generally connotes even finer materials than lunar soil. [1]

Background

Lunar soil is the fine fraction of the regolith found on the surface of the Moon. Its properties can differ significantly from those of terrestrial soil. The physical properties of lunar soil are primarily the result of mechanical disintegration of basaltic and anorthositic rock, caused by continuous meteoric impact and bombardment by interstellar charged atomic particles over years.

Harmful effects of Lunar Dust

A 2005 NASA study listed 20 risks that required further study before humans should commit to a human Mars expedition, and ranked "dust" as the #1 challenge. Although that report addressed Martian dust, the concerns are equally valid concerning lunar dust. The dust found on the lunar surface could cause harmful effects on any manned outpost technology and crew members:

  • Darkening of surfaces, leading to a considerable increase in radiative heat transfer;
  • Abrasive nature of the dust particles may rub and wear down surfaces through friction;
  • Negative effect on coatings used on gaskets to seal equipment from space, optical lenses, solar panels, and windows as well as wiring;
  • Possible damage to an astronaut's lungs, nervous, and cardiovascular systems.

Artemis Protocols for Lunar Dust

The residents of Artemis do everything they can to prevent Lunar dust from entering the city Bubbles. All personnel, equipment, and vehicles are subjected to a high-pressure cleanse before transiting from an airlock into the city. During the cleanse high-pressure air jets dislodge dust and it is sucked into air vents.[2]

References

  1. Wikipedia - Lunar Soil
  2. Artemis (book)