Having been on the lunar surface, American astronauts began to experience strange ailments. The experts decided to sort out the issue, and for this they conducted a series of studies to study the properties of particles similar to the moon dust on Earth.
Every single astronaut sneezed non-stop, suffered from sore throat and nasal congestion, eyes were terribly watery. It is also noted that in the internal volume of the landing module was the smell of gunpowder. For the first time, astronaut Harrison Schmitt, who was a member of the NASA Apollo 17 mission, complained of such symptoms.
Astronauts agreed that moon dust was to blame, and the question of further expeditions to the Earth’s satellite and travel to more distant corners of the solar system arose very sharply. It was about the health and life of people, so it was impossible to take risks.
Responding to the problem, the European Space Agency has created a scientific collaboration, which was set the goal of studying in detail the effect of moon dust on the human body.
Experts have found that particles of lunar dust contain silicates – minerals characteristic of space bodies with volcanic activity. In addition, the rocks are rich in silicates, and for this reason, by the way, miners get serious problems with their lungs and skin. Lunar dust, on the other hand, has stronger abrasive properties, to such an extent that the sole of the astronaut’s shoe corroded, and the containers used to collect the samples rapidly collapsed. Lunar dust is very fine and sharp, and weak gravity on the satellite allows it to be in a balanced position for a long time, penetrating better into the lungs of a person.
Once in the lungs, moon dust can be there for a very long time, increasing the risk of intoxication. I must say that the effect of dust particles on the human body is poorly understood today, but scientists are actively involved in this issue. American experts conducted experiments with particles similar to moon dust, and the results showed the following: with prolonged exposure to the human body, brain and lung cells are damaged.
The dangerous properties of moon dust, as scientists have explained, are due to satellite conditions. On Earth, for example, erosion caused by the interaction with air and water makes fine dust particles smoother with time, but on the Moon this process is impossible, therefore there particles always remain sharp. In addition, the surface of the object is constantly exposed to cosmic rays from the main body of the system, as a result of which the topsoil is electrified. So, dust circles above the surface and getting into the lungs of a person does not cost her anything, and even a spacesuit will not help here.
ESA experts intend to continue research on the effects of particles similar to moon dust on the human body. True, this task is not an easy one, but all because lunar vitreous matter is a special kind of dust that is nowhere to be obtained on our planet. We have to grind the material to achieve the greatest possible similarity.
According to Aidan Cowley, scientific adviser to the European Space Agency, moon dust can be useful. For example, if you heat it, it will turn out to make bricks that will go to the construction of shelters for astronauts. It is possible to produce oxygen from the soil, which is so necessary during lunar missions.