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Here is the picture of Expedition 58 crew members enter the Dragon 2 of Crew Dragon Demo-1 for the first time. They are wearing protective gear to avoid breathing particulate matter that may have shaken loose during launch.

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Why might particulate matter be shaken loose during Crew Dragon Demo-1 launch?

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On Earth, under a 1G gravity field, dust, crap, mites, etc fall to the ground. You can vacuum and clean as much as you want, but the damn stuff gets everywhere. And vehicles like this have lots of nooks and crannies.

Remove gravity, inject lots of shake, rattle, and roll of launch, then orbital maneuvers, all sorts of unexpected bits and pieces will pop up from where you least expected it.

They do this for all Dragon V1 Cargo, and Cygnus visits.

The question would be more interesting, if on a crewed flight, do the vehicle crew wear breathing protection? And when they open the door, do the ISS crew? (I think the answer is no).

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  • $\begingroup$ The difference might be that the crew versions have more sophisticated environmental control, including air circulation and filters. So, by the time the astronauts doff their suits or the hatch opens, the air might be purified enough. But that's just speculation on my part. $\endgroup$ – Jörg W Mittag Mar 3 at 6:44

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