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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...