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Impact of Lunar Dust on the Exploration InitiativeFrom the Apollo era it is known that dust on the Moon can cause serious problems for exploration activities. Such problems include adhering to clothing and equipment, reducing external visibility on landings, and causing difficulty to breathing and vision within the spacecraft. An important step in dealing with dust-related problems is to understand how dust grains behave in the lunar environment. All astronauts who walked on the Moon reported difficulties with lunar dust. Eugene Cernan, commander of Apollo 17, stated that one of the most aggravating, restricting facets of lunar surface exploration is the dust and its adherence to everything no matter what kind of material, whether it be skin, suit material, metal, no matter what it be and it's restrictive friction-like action to everything it gets on. Dust has also been highlighted as a priority by the Mars Exploration Program Assessment Group (MEPAG): 1A. Characterize both aeolian dust and particulates that would be kicked up from the martian regolith by surface operations of a human mission with fidelity sufficient to establish credible engineering simulation labs and/or software codes on Earth. We shall briefly describe the properties of lunar dust and its impact on the Apollo astronauts, and then summarize three main problems areas for understanding its behavior: Dust Adhesion and Abrasion, Surface Electric Fields and Dust Transport. These issues are all inter-related and must be well understood in order to minimize the impact of dust on lunar surface exploration.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Stubbs, T. J.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Vondrak, R. R.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Farrell, W. M.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2005
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Science XXXVI, Part 18
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Science And Exploration
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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