Questions tagged [dust]

Questions regarding small, clustered pieces of dirt/rock, and it's effect on space exploration.

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3
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1answer
65 views

Ultrasonic vibrations to clean solar cells?

Could ultrasonic vibrations propagated into the solar cells be used to dislodge dust in environments like the surface of Mars or the moon? Obviously the waves would need to be induced in the substrate ...
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5answers
5k views

Why is dust such a problem in microgravity? Wouldn't proper air circulation and filtration take care of it?

Dust and small particles in microgravity environments are generally regarded as bad, and items prone to generating these tend to be discouraged: Bread should be prepared quite differently, so that it ...
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2answers
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Martian dust getting into habitats

Martian dust could cause lung disease including cancer. Space suits and boots would become contaminated and bring the dust into the habitats. How would human missions to Mars mitigate this issue?
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0answers
100 views

Is the charge on Martian dust positive or negative?

Martian dust tends to cling to surfaces such as solar panels due to electrostatic charge. Martian dust is extremely small and fine-grained. Atmospheric dust on Mars is approximately three microns in ...
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0answers
34 views

Articulable/tilt-able solar panels planned for, or already tried on Mars or the Moon to get rid of deadly dust accumulation on solar panels?

From Forbes.com's Mars Opportunity And Spirit Rovers Could Have Lived Practically Forever With One Tiny Change: One option would be to install some mechanism such as wiper blades to remove any ...
8
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1answer
157 views

Has Curiosity ever taken a good hard look at the dirt covering its top surface? Can it? Have individual particles been sized?

A reasonable answer to any one of the three enumerated parts gets the bounty! I added some dirty pictures of Curiosity to Curiosity is still dirty! after August 9, 2018 (Sol 2137), and in this March ...
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2answers
226 views

Dust on Ingenuity solar panel

Photos of Ingenuity show dust on the solar panel. Does air moved by the rotors keep it clean enough to [edited] keep charging the batteries?
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0answers
225 views

Perseverance individual sample collection post-mission; what stops them from blowing away or getting covered and hidden by dust?

I have been seeing videos that the plan after Perseverance is done collecting samples to distribute them in 'strategic' locations around Mars for another rover to drive around and pick up later. Why ...
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0answers
72 views

Are there any possible proxies for dust accumulation on the retroreflectors on the moon?

New York Times' How Do You Solve a Moon Mystery? Fire a Laser at It links to the new open access paper First two-way laser ranging to a lunar orbiter: infrared observations from the Grasse station to ...
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2answers
147 views

Will MOXIE get clogged or chemically degraded by martian dust?

MIXIE, the Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment is an experiment on the Perseverance rover currently on its way to Mars, that will test solid oxide electrolysis as a way to extract oxygen from atmospheric ...
5
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1answer
298 views

Choosing a specific region to live on Mars, how important will the degree of dust there be, compared with the availability of water?

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU The map above shows underground water ice on Mars, it's from the article NASA's Treasure Map for Water Ice on Mars. The blue and purple represent water ice less than 30 ...
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0answers
76 views

Is Earth's Moon gaining or losing mass?

The Earth gains mass from dust/meteors (and a tiny, tiny bit to increasing temperatures/energy), but loses mass from hydrogen/helium escaping and nuclear reactions. It's estimated to have a net loss ...
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2answers
2k views

When a planet loses atmosphere, where does it go?

Hydrogen and helium are quite rare in Earth's atmosphere, despite being the most abundant elements in the universe. Planets such as Mars have even lost almost all their atmosphere. The usual ...
5
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1answer
892 views

Can dust be in orbit around a spacecraft which orbits the Earth or Moon?

In the title above, Can dust be in orbit around a spacecraft which orbits the Earth or Moon? let's define "in orbit" to mean gravitationally bound to the spacecraft long enough to go around it a few ...
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1answer
313 views

Why did the Apollo 15 LM violently shake & raise dust after the contact probes touched the lunar surface?

I was watching the Apollo 15 landing and I noticed that after the LM surface sensing probes (contact probe) touched the surface, the view was clear which meant no dust was being raised, but all of a ...
4
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1answer
190 views

Single Engine versus Multiple Engines for Moon Landing

Does it really make any huge difference in the amount of lunar dust disturbed or raised during a Moon landing while using a single-engine compared to using multiple engines? I do not think there ...
7
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1answer
334 views

How were the "dust recepticles" installed on the Apollo 17 LM floor?

This answer quotes Apollo Program Summary Report and includes the sentence: During the Apollo 17 mission, dust on the lunar module floor was swept into floor receptacles which were sealed before ...
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4answers
712 views

Will the Mars helicopter be able to remove the dust from solar panels?

Although I'm not that worried about Insight's solar panels that I didn't sleep well because of that, this question got me thinking! The Mars Helicopter Scout is a planned robotic helicopter that will ...
3
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0answers
117 views

Is there dust on ISS and how do they do cleaning?

Where are humans there is normally dust. It likes any more or less electrostatic surface. Is there dust at ISS and do they clean it beyond using air filters in the air system?
7
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1answer
136 views

What, if any, effect does the Martian magnetic field have on dust storms?

Since we know most dust particles on Mars are magnetic, I was wondering if they might be affected by the Martian magnetic field. Can the Martian magnetic field have any effect on the spatial ...
4
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1answer
141 views

How are martian dust devil maps made?

The Gizmodo article A Martian Dust Devil Swept Right Over NASA’s InSight Lander says: What’s unique about this most recent event, however, is that InSight was able to gather other forms of evidence ...
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2answers
302 views

Could electricity be generated from a Martian dust storm?

This helicopter is producing static electricity from the blades moving through the dusty air. Along with the electricity provided by wind generators could additional power be created this way from ...
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1answer
791 views

How can I calculate the density of Mars' atmosphere during dust storms?

I have been searching to try to estimate the air density of the atmosphere on Mars during a dust storm. I am trying to use this dynamic pressure equation to calculate the pressure on a theoretical ...
4
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1answer
149 views

What is InSight's one-sol energy budget on a good day?

I am still worried about InSight's solar panels getting covered in dust: Why do InSight's solar panels have tall vertical ridges between segments - will these trap dust? Please help me to sleep ...
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1answer
296 views

Why do InSight's solar panels have tall vertical ridges between segments - will these trap dust?

The NASA JPL News item NASA's InSight Takes Its First Selfie provides a link to the high resolution image PIA22876. Below I've cropped out the West solar panel array, which shows surprisingly tall ...
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1answer
933 views

Why is the InSight ICC camera still dirty after the lens cover has been removed?

Two images from the ICC (Instrument Context Camera, a fixed camera under the InSight lander looking at the area of the deployable instruments will be placed) have had the lens cover removed, but the ...
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3answers
4k views

Brushing clean a Mars lander's solar panels

A comment by SF. regarding the InSight Mars lander caught my attention: I really, really wonder why they didn't just include a small compartment with a duster brush grippable by the robotic arm. ...
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0answers
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Would the atmosphere of Mars become less dusty if the ice deposit in Utopia Planitia could be uncovered?

In 2016 a large ice deposit has been found within the Utopia Planitia region on Mars by the SHARAD instrument on board of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The thickness of the deposit ranges from 80 ...
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0answers
66 views

How bright would electrostatically suspended dust above the lunar surface be? Has it ever been measured?

@TomSpilker's answer to Is there any Scientific Benefit to the Lower Albedo levels on the Darkside of the Moon? mentions the potential effect of dust from the lunar regolith being slightly ...
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2answers
4k views

How exactly did the floor of an Apollo LM look like after EVA(s)? Seeking photo!

Five years ago I posted a question entitled "How was dust-mitigation addressed during the Apollo program?". While the question was answered rather comprehensively, it left me even more ...
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1answer
171 views

How thick is the dust layer on Phobos?

How thick is the dust layer on Phobos? Is it pretty much constant or are there significant extremes?
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3answers
2k views

Why did moon dust not cause problems on Apollo during the return flight from the Moon?

The Apollo Command Module and the LEM were built in clean rooms free of dust on earth and yet (knowing that they didn't have air locks on either module) the astronauts came in directly from the moon ...
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1answer
604 views

When Chang'e-3 landed on the moon, did LADEE notice?

The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) entered lunar orbit 2013-10-06, and Chang'e 3 landed 69 days later producing dust and gas on 2013-12-14. These were both quite interesting ...
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2answers
3k views

Curiosity is still dirty! How will the ExoMARS Rover keep its solar panels dust-free and collecting sufficient power?

update: Current events makes this question even more poignant sols 5183 to 5189, Aug. 23, 2018 - Aug. 29, 2018: Team Continues to Listen for Opportunity Curiosity selfie has been released just a few ...
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2answers
360 views

Is a system to remove the charged Mars dust from settlers' suits feasible?

In the question How strong is the electric charge capacity of Martian dust storms? the possibility of electrically-charged dust and its inconvenience or danger to Mars explorers is described. The ...
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3answers
2k views

Are Martian winds as strong as portrayed in "The Martian"?

I read Andy Weir's "The Martian" and saw the movie, which is supposed to be realistic science fiction. And I immediately saw a couple of huge flaws, one of which I'd like to tackle with this question: ...
8
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1answer
440 views

What are the known historic global and regional dust storms on Mars?

What is the actual calendar of observed global dust storms on Mars? And if available, any data about regional dust storms' dates, duration and coverage. I find online information about global Martian ...
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5answers
8k views

Is there any evidence that NASA was worried about deep lunar dust?

It was once theorized that the moon might have deep oceans of dust, potentially a problem for any craft landing on its surface. I've heard that NASA was concerned about this possibility in the early ...
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1answer
1k views

How did they sweep dust on the moon from inside the Apollo Lunar Lander?

I noticed from this answer the phrase: by sweeping all the dust we could find How did they sweep dust in the LM? And where did they sweep it to?
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2answers
686 views

Could you "hose wash" a space suit on the Moon or Mars?

There are some concerns about Lunar dust attaching to the space suits during the Apollo missions. So Suitports are being developed. On Earth, cars get pretty dirty too, but a car wash solves that. ...
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2answers
1k views

"Lunar vacuum cleaner": Design considerations for regolith dust suction system in exospheric conditions

Background: While watching SSERVI Director’s Seminar Series: RIS4E (Science and Exploration of the Moon, Near Earth Asteroids, the Moons of Mars enabled by the Remote In Situ and Synchrotron Studies ...
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1answer
732 views

How strong is the electric charge capacity of Martian dust storms?

In my answer to What would it feel like to be in a Martian dust storm? I assert that Martian dust storms would be best avoided, and as one of the reasons (besides carrying corrosive chemicals like ...
7
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2answers
312 views

Will kicked-up "dust" be a problem for Rosetta and lander Philae?

I see that escape velocity on 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko is 0.64 m/s. (Contrast Earth's 11,186 m/s.) With such light gravity I imagine any material kicked up would take hours to land, or orbit ...
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2answers
433 views

Is vibration useful in shaking off Mars dust?

I had just read this article about how they were trying to figure out how to make a vibrating superconductor move in 1 direction, for propulsion, but it didn't sound too promising. So I thought of ...
8
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1answer
781 views

Curiosity: Rockets kick up more dust than a sandstorm?

I was reading the NASA page about Curiosity's crazy landing scheme, and I ran across this sentence: With a payload this size, the rockets could kick up enough dust to compromise the rover and its ...
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2answers
7k views

What would it feel like to be in a Martian dust storm?

In a recent question, 'Could an EVA Suit meant for Mars be used for EVA on another celestial, or vice-versa?', there was some discussion in the comments about the effects of a dust storm on Mars ...
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2answers
4k views

How does the Curiosity rover survive dust storms on Mars?

According to the answers to this question, a dust storm on Mars can last for many days. Dust is a serious problem for mechanical joints if they use lubrication, because it may stick to the lubricant ...
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4answers
10k views

How can Mars have dust storms with such a thin atmosphere?

Mars, as I understand, has a very thin atmosphere. However, it still has weather like this: What causes the thin atmosphere to move fast enough to cause such a monster wave of dust?
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1answer
4k views

How was dust-mitigation addressed during the Apollo program?

Dust mitigation in the context of manned landings is now a rather vital topic of research and testing, but back in the days of Apollo it was a fairly new problem. 'Dusty' Gene Cernan inside the LM ...
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2answers
4k views

How hard is the Lunar surface?

The lunar surface visible to us is mostly regolith - space dust, asteroid remains, and what-not. The true lunar surface is below - at depths ranging from a few inches to a few metres. Given that ...