Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Lunar Dust: A Major Worry for Moon Visitors

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the applies-also-to-el-paso dept.

Space 464

smooth wombat writes "Wired has a story which talks about a danger to possible future inhabitants of the Moon that is rarely brought up: the highly abrasive lunar dust. Unlike Earth, the Moon has no erosive capabilities to smooth the edges of rocks or dust. As a result the lunar dust has arms that stick out, like Velcro, and sticks to everything. As the astronauts who walked on the moon found out, the dust scratched lenses and corroded seals within hours. Some of the particles are only microns across which means once they get into your lungs, they stay there. This could cause a lung disease similar to silicosis."

cancel ×

464 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Live on the Moon? Thank you smokers! (5, Funny)

DarkHelmet (120004) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150166)

I'm sure that people will solve this problem, so that we, as a race, can live on the moon just fine.

Who do we have to thank about that? The smokers of the world!

Just think. Iron lungs, operations, tracheotomies, breathing machines, voice boxes, all that. All that moon dust that's gonna end up in your lungs? Second hand dust, just like second hand smoke. Right? Right.

All the technology to handle lung disease is already here. You should be thanking the tobacco companies right now. Or... you should be lighting up... to umm, help your lungs adjust to the moon dust... Yeah!

I for one salute the smokers of this world, for giving us the technology to explore and survive on the moon and in outer space.

---

This joke was brought to you by camel cigarettes. Now light up, maggots!

Re:Live on the Moon? Thank you smokers! (5, Interesting)

rebeka thomas (673264) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150238)

Worth mentioning is that lunar dust has not been in contact with the common gases we simply breathe as humans. Nor with the fluids & matter of our lungs.

As well as not being ground down by the action of air and water like dust on earth is, many of these particles could contain practically any mix of extremely reactive substances, substances that have not been oxidised for example, by the actions of an air atmosphere.

Re:Live on the Moon? Thank you smokers! (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12150415)

Aren't some common substances really reactive in a powdered form too? afaik there's a lot of iron out in space, and iron powder can be seriously explosive in the right conditions, or at least get very hot and burn when exposed to water & air. Take a deep breath of the wrong kind of moon dust and get third degree burns all down your lungs!

From memory some divers have used iron filing pads in wetsuits to keep warm in bad conditions because the oxidising in seawater provides enough heat to offset the cold of the water.

Re:Live on the Moon? Thank you smokers! (4, Funny)

momogasuki (790667) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150288)

Why don't we just put the smokers on the moon? They don't care about their lungs anyway...

Easy Solution: (5, Funny)

infinite9 (319274) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150341)

Just tell the astronauts to hold their breath when they go outside.

Re:Live on the Moon? Thank you smokers! (2, Interesting)

Total_Wimp (564548) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150365)

Nah, it wont even get to that. They can control the dust just by hosing it down. Duh!

TW

Hmmm (0)

Chess_the_cat (653159) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150170)

Don't think they have to worry about it getting into their lungs unless they plan on removing their breathing apparatus.

Re:Hmmm (1)

Azadre (632442) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150188)

But what if they want to swim with moon babes? What then!?

Re:Hmmm (5, Informative)

chimpo13 (471212) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150192)

Sorry, I accidently RTFA.

The Apollo astronauts couldn't help but get covered in the stuff as they struggled to stay upright on the moon's surface, where the force of gravity is one-sixth of that on Earth. Later, they tracked the dust back into their space capsules and inhaled it when they took off their helmets.

It won't happen again.

Re:Hmmm (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12150407)

It won't happen again.

Because we're not going back any time soon.

Toner Research (5, Interesting)

purduephotog (218304) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150409)

Toner cartridges carry a distribution of particle sizes that are considered 'safe' for you to inhale because they can't stick in your lungs.

You can also make toner with such a small particle size distribution it is actually taken into the blood stream and excreted, well, normally.

You get into trouble, however, when you get into particle sizes between the two of those ranges (Which escape me ATM).

That sized dust goes into the lung and stays there- too large to get absorbed, too small to get exhaled out.

It will also exhibit most of the properties of statically charged nano-particulates: It gets everywhere, fast.

There may be a 'clean room' to disengage the suits, but no matter how you adjust for the problem (save going underwater in an ultrasonic scrubber) that dust will move with you.

Maybe installation of those 'ion-breeze' units from SharperImage will fix it.... ;P

Re:Hmmm (1)

worst_name_ever (633374) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150199)

Or, more likely, tracking in dust that then gets into the life support system.

Re:Hmmm (3, Interesting)

InfiniteWisdom (530090) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150205)

That is something they most certainly would plan on doing once they return to the space capsule.

Moreover, once you have a permanent base, thing are going to get that much worse. It is extraordinarily hard to keep micron-sized particles out completely whenever you enter and exit the airlock.

Re:Hmmm (1)

idlake (850372) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150206)

RTFA. Yes, they do plan on removing their breathing apparatus, like after the reenter the capsule. Dust on the outside of their space suits then gets into the capsule. Article also contains possible solutions. You should read it.

Re:Hmmm (2, Informative)

mr.mighty (162506) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150219)

This dust could get everywhere. Sooner or later you take off your space suit, you track dust into the biodome on your boots, you park the moon buggy in the garage, etc. Dust just a few microns has the potential to work its way all through air circulation systems, etc. It'll be a nightmare to deal with.

Yay!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12150171)

First landing... dann it's dusty here.. :(

lawsuits (1, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150173)

look out here we go...

Re:lawsuits (2, Funny)

HungSoLow (809760) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150276)

Damnit. All I've ever wanted to do was send all the lawyers to the moon .. but now it seems they'll serve a purpose there... looks like the sun is our only option!

Re:lawsuits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12150332)

...and even though the defense can show that researched proved how harmful it was all the way back in 2005, the whiney fuckers will still win.

Yet (1)

bigattichouse (527527) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150174)

No one seems to have publically noticed this effect until now.. funny. Say, I heard Christopher Columbus met this crazy bunch of people called the Caribs!

Re:Yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12150268)

They were Indians, you insensitive clod!

Re:Yet (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12150311)

Say, I heard Christopher Columbus met this crazy bunch of people called the Caribs!

Later on, the Carbs were killed by the genocidal Dr. Atkinson.

Re: Effects of the colonial era on human diversity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12150367)

European colonization of the world resulted in the demise of many savage communities.

You have given me alot to think about (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12150175)

I will keep that in mind the next time I visit the friggin moon.

Lunar Dust Photos and Explanation (-1, Offtopic)

pressesc (873084) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150177)

Here's [pressesc.com] a story explaining Lunar Dust and a nice pic too.

Re:Lunar Dust Photos and Explanation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12150261)

Thanks for this article

Re:Lunar Dust Photos and Explanation (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12150262)

Don't mod this guy up. He is a whore for his site. Just look at his history, all he does is post worthless articles that are semi-ontopic that link to his site.

Re:Lunar Dust Photos and Explanation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12150295)

Yeah but his site is pretty informative. Much more so that /. articles

thanks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12150178)

Thank you Wired, for taking away my dreams of leaving Earth and finding someplace else that's good.

So what it means is (3, Funny)

krisp (59093) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150180)

that biodomes will be clean. All the sci-fi movies had moon cities in a giant biodome! Anyone who goes outside and interacts with the dust gets cleaned on the way back in

Re:So what it means is (2, Interesting)

sTalking_Goat (670565) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150387)

How?

I actually thought the same thing too, but how. Can't blow the dust off, that' would be like sandblasting the suit. You can't wash it off, then instead of a floating dust problem you've got a bouncing mud problem. Some kind of human safe Sonicator could be ivented I suppose.

asbestos (4, Interesting)

Internet_Communist (592634) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150181)

sounds like moon dust has similar properties to asbestos. So small that it gets stuck in lungs and such...I have no idea if it's as resilient as asbestos is though...any clues?

Lung disease in vaccum? (3, Funny)

Staplerh (806722) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150183)

As the astronauts who walked on the moon found out, the dust scratched lenses and corroded seals within hours. Some of the particles are only microns across which means once they get into your lungs, they stay there. This could cause a lung disease similar to silicosis.

I wonder if breathing a vaccum without 'dust' in the air would cause a lung disease too?

Re:Lung disease in vaccum? (2, Informative)

haydon4 (123439) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150226)

To speak practiclly, it becomes a problem when the dust gets in the building. Unless, you want to walk around and work with a mask or filter over your face.

Re:Lung disease in vaccum? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12150236)

What about using your brain for two seconds before making a stupid comment? Would that be fatal?

Re:Lung disease in vaccum? (3, Funny)

CausticPuppy (82139) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150292)

I wonder if breathing a vaccum without 'dust' in the air would cause a lung disease too?

1) Space suit covered with dust
2) Walk into airlock, pressurize
3) Dust now suspended in air
4) Remove helmet
5) ?????
6) Silicosis!

Re:Lung disease in vaccum? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12150339)

3.5 Turn on
a) filtered fans
b) shower
c) low level electrical field (think 'ionic breeze'
to remove dust.

Re:Lung disease in vaccum? (2, Informative)

Lord Pillage (815466) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150294)

This is this the dumbest comment I've read today.

breathing a vaccum
'dust' in the air

Anything with air, can't be a vacuum.

Lung Disease (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12150186)

Some of the particles are only microns across which means once they get into your lungs, they stay there. This could cause a lung disease similar to silicosis.

I think that if you're freely breathing in dust with no protection between you and the lunar surface, you've got bigger issues to worry about than silicosis.

Re:Lung Disease (3, Interesting)

Skapare (16644) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150235)

The dust gets on your space suit. You go back inside. Some of the dust falls off and floats in the air inside. Later you breath it in.

Sounds to me like they are going to need some really good washdown. And a vacuum cleaner can actually work with air being sucked in to pull some particles along with it. The big question is just how much of an effort is needed.

Re:Lung Disease (5, Informative)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150384)

I think that if you're freely breathing in dust with no protection between you and the lunar surface, you've got bigger issues to worry about than silicosis.

Lunar dust is reported to smell like exploded firecrackers [24.73.239.154] , according to a 2002 interview with John Hirasaki, an Apollo recovery technician:
JIM [interviewer]: Did you have to go into isolation prior to the splashdown? If so how long beforehand? Was this done to minimize your exposure to viruses and germs that might have caused alarm if you and/or others in isolation became ill?


JOHN: Dr. Bill Carpentier and I were placed into isolation within the MQF about the same time as the launch of Apollo 11. The reason for our biological isolation was for the reason that you indicated... At the LRL, on our side of the biological barrier, I recall that the Public Affairs Officer joined the five of us to assist in post-flight debriefings and interviews with the news media. Also during our stay in the LRL, we had two laboratory technicians join us at different intervals because of accidental breeches of biological isolation while they were handling lunar samples on their side of the LRL. The LRL itself is a fascinating story that deserves to be told.

JIM: You personally retrieved the Apollo 11 lunar sample containers from Columbia shortly after the Command Module was brought on board the Hornet. Do you have specific memories of entering the spacecraft? Did the boxes look "dusty" or smudged?

JOHN: The first unusual item that I noticed upon entering the Apollo 11 Command Module was a unique scent that reminded me of smell of exploded firecrackers or the scent that you notice when you strike flint together. I had not noticed this scent when I opened other Command Modules following their flights.

The lunar sample return containers were slightly smudged with dust from the surface of the moon but this dust was especially prevalent on the surface of the suits worn by Armstrong and Aldrin. These suits were stored in the Command Module below the crew couches. Traces of the dust appeared on many surfaces since the fine powder like nature of the moon dust inadvertently allowed it to be transferred to other surfaces.

I cannot say that the aroma was a direct result of the "moon dust" being present in the cabin even though that was what I surmised. There could be other explanations for the aroma that are not related to the presence of the dust. After reviewing the post-flight notes from the Apollo 11 mission, there was a comment made during crew debriefing that a "strong odor of burnt material" was noticed following the S-IVB stage separation when the crew opened the CSM tunnel.

Google cache here. [64.233.187.104]

Dictionary entry for lunar dust... (5, Funny)

FIT_Entry1 (468985) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150190)


Lunar dust (loo-near duhst)n.
Highly abrasive and difficult to remove.
see Republicans

Re:Dictionary entry for lunar dust... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12150304)

My hat is off to you.

Re:Dictionary entry for lunar dust... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12150308)

Don't worry, mommy will clean up that spilt milk.

Re:Dictionary entry for lunar dust... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12150391)

you forgot the pronunciation:

see Republicans (loo-ny dicks)

Wow, what a trivial concern (0, Redundant)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150191)

Just leave your space suit in the airlock, thank you.

Re:Wow, what a trivial concern (1)

aismail3 (735831) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150343)

While you could certainly minimize the effects by doing something like leaving your space suit in the airlock, there's going to still be dust contamination. Over time, I think that the dust buildup inside the rest of the spaceship would cause problems. You could always replenish the supply of air, which is going to be necessary anyways, but msot of the dust would still be floating around, as the replacement of dirty air with fresh air would be gradual.

Re:Wow, what a trivial concern (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150378)

Just filter it.. this is basic cleanroom technology that has been perfected already.

dust in lungs (2)

Skapare (16644) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150193)

Also, the dust is littered with bonded shards of glass and minerals known as agglutinates, which were formed in the heat of meteorite impacts. Agglutinates have not been found on Earth, and scientists worry that the human body may not be able to expel them efficiently if inhaled.

Sounds like the makings of a "dirty bomb".

Re:dust in lungs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12150239)

Sounds like the makings of a "dirty bomb".

So, the terrorist plan for profit would be:

1) Build rocket and lunar lander
2) Fly to the moon
3) Collect lunar dust
4) Fly back to earth
5) Build dirty bomb with lunar dust
6) PROFIT!!!

Re:dust in lungs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12150358)

At least that would rule out Islamic terrorists. They'd spend all day figuring out which way Mecca was as they hurtled through space.

Praise Allah (0, Flamebait)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150369)

Sounds like the makings of a "dirty bomb".

Yeah, that would work great. Put kitty litter in a bomb, blow it up, and hope people inhale it. Gee Muhammed, we could blow them up or cause minor respiratory distress. That'll teach those Yankee infidels!

Lungs? (1)

templest (705025) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150198)

Some of the particles are only microns across which means once they get into your lungs, they stay there.
I doubt people will be walking on the surface, taking long, deep breaths of fresh air.
Dunno, just a thought.

Re:Lungs? (1)

jobin (836958) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150257)

I doubt people will be walking on the surface, taking long, deep breaths of fresh air.

Likewise, I doubt that any cleaning procedure will be able to keep every bit of dust from getting into areas where people will be taking those nice, deep, contaminated breaths.

Re:Lungs? (1)

templest (705025) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150322)

Likewise, I doubt that any cleaning procedure will be able to keep every bit of dust from getting into areas where people will be taking those nice, deep, contaminated breaths.
If you leave your suit in a safe place, and hose it down before taking it off, I doubt you'll have much dust floating around for you to breathe in. On top of that, It's not like the little dust that would be in the air is any worse than all the shit we already inhale here on Earth. Contamination.

Re:Lungs? (1)

kevcol (3467) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150397)

On top of that, It's not like the little dust that would be in the air is any worse than all the shit we already inhale here on Earth.

It might serve you well to RTFA:

Moon dust is much more jagged than dust on Earth because there's no water or wind on the moon to toss it around and grind down its edges.

*snip*

Also, the dust is littered with bonded shards of glass and minerals known as agglutinates, which were formed in the heat of meteorite impacts. Agglutinates have not been found on Earth, and scientists worry that the human body may not be able to expel them efficiently if inhaled.

"They have sharp angles, with arms that stick out and little hooks," said David McKay, chief scientist for astrobiology at NASA's Johnson Space Center. "It's like Velcro."

That's torn it! (1)

OccidentalSlashy (809265) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150200)

I am SO not going to the Moon!

At least (1)

AvatarofVirgo (865568) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150201)

they will not have to worry about redundant articles submitted to slashdot.

Or is this a case of dajavoo (or how ever you spell it).

Lunar Dust or mesothelioma litigation & lawsui (3, Funny)

infonography (566403) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150202)

We can help. If you have been injured by dust not of this earth we can help. Call Dewey, Keetum and Howe 999.000.04~4 Now, time is slipping away you could lose your chance to get money for your injuries.

Re:Lunar Dust or mesothelioma litigation & law (1)

infonography (566403) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150230)

I just hope Google gets the joke and doesn't accuse /. of slamming the mesothelioma links. [Has reported and a different article earlier this week.]

Oh well. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12150204)

Damn, I just packed my bags too.

oh no... (1, Funny)

erroneus (253617) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150208)

...that poor cow. Do you think it suffered?

Space suit (1, Redundant)

mschaffer (97223) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150213)

Yet another reason to keep your helmet on while out on the moon.

Re:Space suit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12150227)

The point is that you track the dust back with your suit and inhale it later.

Or did that not occur to you?

Re:Space suit (1)

DarkHelmet (120004) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150248)

I, DarkHelmet, keep my helmet on while browsing Slashdot. Keeping it on while browsing the moon should be no problem.

That's no small space station. That's a moon! (1)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150291)

"Yet another reason to keep your helmet on while out on the moon."

You are just saying that since you are so looking forward to being able to wear your Darth Vader helmet and costume SOMEWHERE without everyone laughing at you. Even if you have to go to the moon to do it.

Get in line (5, Funny)

Aggrav8d (683620) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150216)

So if the radiation, metorites, temperature, subversive crewmembers, psychotic computers, lack of air, fuel, or water doesn't get you... the dirt will.

...I'd still go. (strip soft/first post?)

Call me stupid, but... (0, Redundant)

scovetta (632629) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150218)

Some of the particles are only microns across which means once they get into your lungs, they stay there. This could cause a lung disease similar to silicosis."

Since when are people walking around on the moon breathing in the lack-of-oxygen?

Or are we talking post-"Total-Recall" terraforming?

Indoors, silly (2, Insightful)

PornMaster (749461) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150246)

When you go back into the shuttle/station/building, you trek dust in with you.

Re:Indoors, silly (2, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150277)

And he would have known that if he had RTFA. And the person who modded him up would have known that he didn't RTFA if he had RTFA.

Re:Indoors, silly (1)

dhakbar (783117) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150327)

But the rest of us who don't know what anyone is talking about wouldn't have known anyway, because none of us RTFA.

Fark (4, Funny)

kgayer (647331) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150220)

Slashdot beaten by Fark (this was posted days ago).. A sad sad day for /.

Re:Fark (3, Funny)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150274)

Your dog wants a HEPA filter. /submitted with a much funnier headline

Re:Fark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12150296)

This happens all the time.

Re:Fark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12150323)

Slashdot beaten by Fark (this was posted days ago).. A sad sad day for /.

What's really sad is they did it while being up and down more times than the shuttle.

Re:Fark (1, Offtopic)

mark0 (750639) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150366)

You're joking, right? /. is regularly scooped by memepool. Its not a sad day, its a sad existence.

Silicosis? (-1, Redundant)

Ancil (622971) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150224)


...once they get into your lungs, they stay there. This could cause a lung disease similar to silicosis.
If you're trying to breath on the moon, I wouldn't worry too much about silicosis.

So what? (1)

rm999 (775449) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150234)

If there is no wind on the moon, and people are living indoors, this dust does not seem like a huge deal.

The only potential problem would be during outdoor activities and construction, but I am sure simple solutions can be found.

Let's send OSHA! (0, Troll)

Ikester8 (768098) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150240)

...and get 'em off this planet!

the (moon)dust ... corroded seals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12150241)

What were seals doing on the moon - chasing a lost ball? And exactly what part of them corrodes?

Regardless (0, Offtopic)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150271)

Regardless, it is good to learn now that even when I migrate to a moon colony, I can go outside and club baby seals to death for fun and profit.

Okay (2, Interesting)

mattmentecky (799199) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150267)

If the turnover rate of information is 40+ years (From the moon landing till now) I think we might have a slight latency gap of informaiton flow.

Also, with these particles getting caught in the lungs, isnt the whole "lack of oxygen on the moon" probably, a bigger breathing threat?

the real reason.... (0, Troll)

808paulson (852724) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150272)

The moon landings were FAKED

Re:the real reason.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12150335)

That's right. The sharp dust would have torn open suits, punctured the tires of the lunar rover, and ripped that flag to shreds!

It's all a big government conspiracy, I tell you. They just want us to THINK we landed on the moon! They want to keep our hopes and dreams alive when there is really no hope for anything, and we are all destined to live in this totalitarian government under an iron fist, hidden by ignorance and control of the media!

Go back to bed, America. Nothing to see here. Go back to bed.

(it's a joke..
OR IS IT???)

Re:the real reason.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12150359)

So are all your girlfriends orgasms.

Re:the real reason.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12150388)

So are all your girlfriends orgasms.

Why would NASA want to fake those?

"Houston, we've got a -- oh God, yes, yes, YES!!"

Genetic engineering will fix that right up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12150289)

A bit of tweaking the human genome, and you'll be able to smoke asbestos-filtered cigarettes in a room filled with moondust without a problem.

I knew the Apollo program was a plot!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12150298)

Of course astronauts have never been on the moon so this dust is just another theory.

Screw the dust! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12150330)

Whoever tries to breathe on the moon will be in for a big shock when they realize there's no oxygen.

No. 1 problem? (4, Funny)

Kelerain (577551) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150337)

"Dust is the No. 1 environmental problem on the moon,"

And here I thought it was the lack of segnificant atmosphere. Silly me.

Although I do think it is great that we are considering other major problems.

Re:No. 1 problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12150376)

Actually, the number one problem on the moon is that none of its inhabitants can spell.

Simple solution.. (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150344)

Unlike Earth ,the Moon has no erosive capabilities to smooth the edges of rocks or dust. As a result the lunar dust has arms that stick out, like Velcro, and sticks to everything.

So we start eroding the moon. How hard can that be?!? Create an atmosphere, bring some water, don't plant anything*. In a few years you have perfectly safe eroded dust.

*Note that not planting anything is not an actual step, but listed for cautionary purposes.

Moon dust? Bah! Try Black Rock Desert Dust (3, Interesting)

SuperSanta (843034) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150348)

Finally an environment I was BUILT to survive in. Having gone to the desert at the end of August for the last 4 years, I know DUST. I know the feeling of contact lenses gritty with it, zippers of tents being destroyed after only one week exposure to it, taking a shower feeling dry and fresh for all of maybe 5 seconds before your skin has that fine gritty coating on it again. Bring on the moon!

Silicosis? Pfft... (1)

ResidntGeek (772730) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150354)

Call it pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. It makes you sound smarter.

Re:Silicosis? Pfft... (2, Funny)

pdbogen (596723) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150421)

Do volcanos even have lungs?

WMDs (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12150362)

Oh no don't let Bush find out about that big white weapon of mass destuction over the US enemy country of the week

Missing the Point (5, Insightful)

HadesInjustice (872477) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150373)

"As the astronauts who walked on the moon found out, the dust scratched lenses and corroded seals within hours." I don't think the problem is with the dust getting into your lung, even thought that could be a serious one; however, I doubt ppl actually take deep breathe out in the open, and the air lock should be able to remove the dust with a strong air filter. I believe the real problem is with the structure of the house ON the moon surface. It said that it scratched lenses and corroded seals within hours which mean that any windows and air lock seals will be damage. The cost of the constant repair for the damage might be the cost issue here. I am not sure if I am getting it all right, but that is the problem as I see. What do you ppl think?

Conspiracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12150374)

The moon dust issue is just a vast conspiracy like the Apollo program that supposedly went there!!! We all know that...

Pressurized... (1, Informative)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150405)

Keeping a survivable environment on the moon is a difficult task, but I don't think I'm too worried about the dust getting in my lungs as the description suggests. Any habitat on the moon will be pressurized. I should hope so, at least.

Anyway, I'm not too worried about that dust getting in my lungs if I ever go to the moon, because of the very same force that keeps an airplane's door closed, and maintains the security of a level 5 biohazard area: air pressure. The pressure in a biohazard area is kept negative, relative to the outside pressure. That way, if there's ever a breach, the outside air will be gushing in, so the viruses won't be able to escape. Likewise, an airplane's door is held closed by the force of the higher air pressure inside the cabin.

The same laws of physics apply on the moon. If I'm wearing a space suit that develops a micro-hole because of this abrasion, I'm not going to be sucking vacuum as it won't be a big enough hole to depressurize the suit. I'm also not going to be worrying about any of this dust getting in the suit, because of the pressure from the air escaping the suit. The same goes for a habitat that's breached. And if the hole is big enough to depressurize the suit, I've got bigger worries than dust in my lungs. :)

As for the initial problem of the abrasiveness, I can think of a possible solution that may or may not work... If there's an outer shell of some kind of flowing liquid held to the structure with electrostatic or magnetic force, would you be all that worried about abrasion? Or if you could generate that electrostatic force in the first place, couldn't you use that to repel the dust?

We already have the solution... (1)

cy_a253 (713262) | more than 9 years ago | (#12150413)

Simple.

Just equip every airlock with that marvel of 1980s technology... [google.com]
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?