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The Need for Medical Geology in Space Exploration: Implications for the Journey to Mars and BeyondThe previous manned missions to the Moon represent milestones in human ingenuity, perseverance, and intellectual curiosity. They also highlight a major hazard for future human exploration of the Moon and beyond: surface dust. Not only did the dust cause mechanical and structural integrity issues with the suits, the dust "storm" generated upon reentrance into the crew cabin caused "lunar hay fever" and "almost blindness". It was further reported that the allergic response to the dust worsened with each exposure. The lower gravity environment exacerbated the exposure, requiring the astronauts to wear their helmet within the module in order to avoid breathing the irritating particles. Due to the prevalence of these high exposures, the Human Research Roadmap developed by NASA identifies the Risk of Adverse Health and Performance Effects of Celestial Dust Exposure as an area of concern. Extended human exploration will further increase the probability of inadvertent and repeated exposures to celestial dusts. Going forward, hazard assessments of celestial dusts will be determined through sample return efforts prior to astronaut deployment. However, even then the returned samples could also put the Curators, technicians, and scientists at risk during processing and examination.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Johnson Space Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Harrington, A. D.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Zeigler, R. A.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
McCubbin, F. M.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
April 27, 2018
Publication Date
March 19, 2018
Subject Category
Aerospace Medicine
Lunar And Planetary Science And Exploration
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: Lunar and Planetary Science Conference
Location: The Woodlands, TX
Country: United States
Start Date: March 19, 2018
End Date: March 23, 2018
Sponsors: Lunar and Planetary Inst.
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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