Commander of the Apollo 17 spaceship, Eugene Andrew Cernan, stated that the greatest danger that awaits men on the moon is dust. Scientists can solve many problems associated with psychological and physical adaptation, however, moon dust can become an insurmountable obstacle for moon colonization.
The leading space powers unanimously declare the necessity of landing on the moon and building their bases there. The motivation here is simple: the Moon, for example, can become a source of rare-earth metals, whose mining on Earth will decline over time. In addition, the Moon is an ideal base for flights into deep space. However, to implement such plans, a large number of problems have to be solved, one of which is moon dust.
Lunar regolith contains several types of chemically active elements, including silicon dioxide (50%), calcium oxide and iron oxide (45%) and other oxides (5%). At the same time, silicon dioxide is very toxic and dangerous for humans, it causes a dangerous lung disease – silicosis, which many bricklayers are familiar with. Dust nanoparticles will easily penetrate into the lungs and precipitate in them, and low gravity on the moon will only aggravate this process.
The surface of the moon is literally covered with particles of abrasive, fine-grained, invisible to the human eye. They resemble fragments of glass and are dangerous not only for human health but also for various equipment. These particles easily penetrate spacesuits, damage visors and all kinds of sensors that can no longer be treated.
Members of the Apollo have already faced such problems. Future expeditions will suffer more because it is planned that their visits will be longer. Dust particles will damage their skin, leading to irritation. If such dust gets inside the body, it can lead to hay fever, Kobrik adds.
To work in such conditions, it will be necessary to use special protection, both for people and for all equipment. A person’s ability to withstand this threat will determine how far he will go in mastering the natural satellite of the earth.