Questions tagged [regolith]

Questions regarding regolith which is a layer of loose, heterogeneous material covering solid rock. It includes dust, soil, broken rock, and other related materials.

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What can we know or at least deduce about this "mysterious blob in an Ingenuity navcam image"?

Near the end of Mars Guy's new video Mars helicopter escapes sand trap linked below there's an image taken by the Ingenuity helicopter where an out-of-focus bit of debris passes in front of the navcam ...
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How to make diamagnetic lunar simulant that would "float" in a strong enough magnetic field? (for China's 60 cm high field simulator)

Live Science's China builds 'artificial moon' for gravity experiment says: Chinese scientists have built an "artificial moon" research facility that will enable them to simulate low-gravity ...
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Are changing regolith properties under different thermal conditions a concern for the VIPER rover?

NASA's VIPER mission will send a rover to the lunar south pole, which will drive on sunlit terrain and in permanently shadowed regions (PSRs), which are among the coldest places in our solar system. ...
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Rock arches on the moon?

The large rock in the centre right position (cut off by the image's right edge) of this photo seems to include the left part of a (small) natural arch: Is this indeed a rock arch? Are complete ...
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Perseverance's First Borehole looks like its particles of sand stuck together by something; composition of this material and source of adhesion?

Resampled and sharpened detail from PIA24796: WATSON Image of Perseverance's First Borehole This is reminiscent of a day at the beach digging a hole in wet sand. The walls remain standing as long as ...
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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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Is this white stuff seen by the Mars Phoenix Lander water or carbon dioxide ice?

Source Here is an image which shows ice is evaporating over time. They use the word "ice". 1st: I'm not sure what they are talking about. Are they talking about the white stuff (like milk) ...
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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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Has any rover dragged a magnet across any solar system body to see what gets picked up or made magnetic measurements of specific rocks or particles?

On Earth, amateur and sometimes professional scientists collect dust from the tops of buildings or mountains (see also) and separate it with a magnet to obtain meteoric material. Not all meteoric ...
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How radioactive is surface regolith on the Moon?

Use of regolith for shielding from cosmic radiation seems the most practical solution for perspective lunar surface bases. But lunar regolith should gather some secondary radiation while being ...
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How sharp are the bits of sand and rock on mars?

Lunar regolith is quite sharp, so abrasive it can cut kevlar. This is because there is no flowing water or substantial atmosphere to erode the material and smoothen it out, so meteorite impacts break ...
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What does lunar dust smell like?

What does dust from the moon smell like? Please support your answer with sources.
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On what kind of martian soil or rock will the Perseverance rover drop its helicopter?

The image below is cropped from the high resolution version of NASA's Mars Helicopter and Perseverance Rover PIA23824 and shows the helicopter in it's stowed position on the underside of the rover ...
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DIY Lunar regolith simulant

I'm looking to make a physical lunar regolith stimulant at home. I don't care about chemical composition, color, or anything like that, but I'd like it to behave similarly to actual lunar regolith in ...
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What was the radius of Insight's disruption of Martian regolith?

A NASA animation depicts the Martian regolith being disturbed by the retrorockets of the Insight spacecraft while landing. Did NASA estimate the radius of the disruption, or was there any indication ...
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Dealing with lunar regolith

NASA has announced its intention to return astronauts to the Moon by 2024. Various other questions and answers here address the many dangers and difficulties posed by the fine and abrasive particles ...
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How to calculate the amount of lunar regolith needed to reduce solar radiation in an area on earth by 0.2% or 0.5%

I am working on a climate change that doubles as a lunar infrastructure project. I am wondering if anyone could direct me to resources or help me answer the question of how much regolith scattered ...
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What did walking on lunar regolith feel like?

Has the feel of walking on the regolith ever been described? I've heard a description of regolith being like talcum powder (don't remember where I heard that). Since the bulk of regolith has a ...
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Which scientific articles together give proof of all the chemical elements found on Mars?

Wikipedia about the elemental composition of Mars: Based on these data sources, scientists think that the most abundant chemical elements in the Martian crust, besides silicon and oxygen, are iron, ...
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What harm could perchlorate consuming bacteria do to potential native life forms on Mars?

Since the discovery of the toxic perchlorate being globally distributed in the martian soil the chances for microscopic life there are thought to be greatly reduced.. Even in the RSL's, once thought ...
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Can you really melt lunar regolith with microwaves?

This answer links to the 2008 Phys.org article with the catchy title NASA's dirty secret: Moon dust. The article says: Luckily, lunar dust is also susceptible to magnets. Tiny specks of metallic ...
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How thick does lunar regolith ever get? Has the thickness been measured and mapped by satellite?

Discussion in comments below the question Couldn't we just clear away the Moon Dust? have lead me to wonder if thickness of the lunar regolith is fairly well mapped by some combination of high ...
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Why is there no exosphere demonstrating moon dust and particles in the Apollo footage?

I have read dust levitates on the moon's surface extending to 100 miles in the sky (horizon) creating an exosphere. Dust levitates because the surface of the moon and dust particles have become ...
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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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Why does NASA use Nitrogen storage for lunar regolith?

I asked this question earlier about how moon dust was regulated and got an answer stating that: Eighty-three percent of that material remains unexamined in nitrogen storage at NASA's Johnson ...
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12 votes
1 answer
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How much total lunar mass remains viable for analysis here on Earth?

I know that samples of lunar regolith were taken on many missions to and from the moon, but I also know that these rocks aren't common and are being used for analysis purposes. According to this NASA ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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How is InSight's temperature probe deployment location chosen?

On NASA's InSight Mars lander a temperature probe nicknamed "Mole" is designed to hammer itself 5 meters into the ground and measure the temperature of the martian regolith at different depths with ...
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How much soil can be supported by an inflatable habitat on Mars?

What weight of Martian soil can be supported by the top of an inflatable habitat pressurized at Earth's atmosphere? While habitat's shape is a huge factor, this has 20 meter modules, semi-cylindrical ...
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What happens to Lunar (or asteroidal) regolith if sunlight is concentrated on it?

At 24:40 into this lecture, technology development scientist Laurent Sibille briefly describes an experiment done with a regolith simulant for Lunar Mare. The process of producing oxygen and reusing ...
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Are rocks on Mars or the Moon the same as rocks on Earth?

Would rocks on Mars or the Moon be the same as rocks on earth? Or would the lower gravity mean they would not be as dense or strong? Or because you wouldn't have plate tectonics would you not find ...
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10 votes
1 answer
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How deep is the regolith around this crater?

I'm trying to estimate the depth of the soil around this 300 m crater about 150 m from the lip of Lalande crate on the Moon's equator. In the image below from the LRO's camera the sun's incidence ...
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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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What is the mysterious "Ball of Mars"?

A recent picture of Curiosity rover depicts a surprisingly accurate sphere on the surface of Mars. What is it, and how is it possible that it is so perfecly spherical? Photo by NASA Mars Science ...
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13 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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What are the dangers of regolith?

Does regolith mean any threat for people visting the Moon or the Mars? If yes, what is that?
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8 votes
1 answer
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Any regolith lunar samples tested for organics?

I looked over this NASA report and it seems to me they didn't analyze for traces of organics any of the deep core samples. Is my assumption correct and if yes why wasn't this test considered?
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15 votes
1 answer
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The maximum depth Apollo astronauts dug into lunar regolith?

Almost on every mission the astronauts did some digging, but how deep did they reach? According to this article: The regolith is generally from 4 to 5 metres thick in mare areas and from 10 to 15 ...
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10 votes
1 answer
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How much oxygen and hydrogen are in the soil of Mars?

Current knowledge suggests there is plentiful water ice at the Martian poles. The same knowledge says it gets cold enough at the poles for carbon dioxide to freeze out of the air. If creating a ...
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13 votes
1 answer
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What is the average electrical charge on the lunar surface?

Known facts: The lunar surface is covered by regolith. The Solar wind imparts a charge to the lunar surface Wikipedia says On the daylit side of the Moon, solar ultraviolet and X-ray radiation ...
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Is current state-of-the-art additive manufacturing (aka 3D printing) good enough to build parts out of Moon/Mars dust?

Additive manufacturing is currently being proposed as a way to greatly decrease the cost of establishing a permanent (robotic or human) presence on the Moon or Mars by sending only 3D printers to ...
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