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Abrasive Lunar Dust Threatens Long-Duration Moon Missions

When astronauts return to the moon, the European Space Agency wants more protection against the sharp lunar dust that was so difficult for the NASA Apollo astronauts of the 1960s and 1970s.

After walking on the moon in 1969, for example, Apollo 12 astronaut Pete Conrad said one of the worst problems his crew faced was dust. He called it “one of the most aggravating, restricting facets of lunar surface exploration” due to its “restrictive friction-like action to everything it gets on.”

And it wasn’t just spacesuits that got affected by the dust. China’s Yutu-1 rover came to a standstill after a couple of months on the moon, and most scientists agree it was likely dust that caused the problem. The dust has a nasty tendency to stick in

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