34

Yes. The fear that lunar dust was fine, deep, and motile enough that a lander could sink under its surface was mostly backed by Thomas Gold, a noted astrophysicist who was a consultant to NASA in the 1950s. Note especially in the image below of a Popular Mechanics article from 1964, the quote from his article in Science magazine on the subject: "Without ...


22

It turns out there is a paper that discusses this exact ice patch: it's water ice, and they're referring to the white section at the top. (The small granules in the lower left may also be water ice, but they don't discuss that specifically. It certainly looks like small ice chips). Cull et al (2010) "Compositions of Subsurface Ices at the Mars Phoenix ...


19

As called2voyage♦ pointed out in a comment, this looks like a concretion. It is not the first concretion observed on Mars, and it was most likely formed back when Mars had liquid water. More information from an article on Discovery News, dated 24 September: According to MSL scientists based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., ...


19

Curiosity photographs thousands of rocks every week. It does that for years. You will find rocks with almost any shape you can think of. This one happens to be somewhat round in one direction. From the shadows and the way it stays on what is apparently a slope, I would infer that it is not a sphere, but is actually ragged on the other side. I'm no geologist ...


18

So did they ever see what was beneath the regolith? No. The Apollo program sent a deep core drill ("deep": 3 meters) on Apollo 15, 16, and 17. The deepest sample was 292 centimeters during Apollo 17. See Apollo 17 Samples 70001 to 70006 Deep Drill Core for details on the sample.


17

A large amount of Moon samples has not been studied at all yet. Out of 9 sealed containers brought back to Earth in the Apollo program, 3 containers have never been opened. In early 2018, a group of scientists advocated opening one of these containers. From the opened containers, most of the samples haven't been studied extensively either. In total 83% of ...


17

The best physical evidence is the fact the foot pads of the lunar lander were dish shaped pads and not something smaller. This is not evidence of DEEP dust, but of at least the belief there was SOME dust likely to sink into.


15

Italian inventor and Monolite founder Enrico Dini believes it is and is together with UK based Foster + Partners working on a prototype massive D-Shape 3D printer that would use Lunar regolith as source material. They are testing 3D printing techniques using simulated regolith to which they're adding magnesium oxide. End results are fascinating:   ...


10

Definitely not 3D printing. You should look for the mirror side of 3D manufacturing: substractive methods like CNC milling. Take a solid lunar rock, carve it into any arbitrary shape you desire, construct whatever you wish from carved components, add minuscule amounts of organic sealant brought from Earth. Use solar furnace to melt metal, cast it in CNC-...


10

Yes, the ARTEMIS satellite monitors the lunar surface (a link to mission data). The lunar surface gets ionized by the plasma, cosmic rays, and coronal mass ejections from the Sun. Solar System Exploration Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California paper on Lunar surface charging: Magnitude and ...


10

tl;dr: This is not meant to be a at all a complete answer, but it's a start, and I think it gives a flavor of what will come; that in general the stuff is not very radioactive as (at)Gregg has already predicted. But if your material is in contact with breathable gasses or perhaps even drinkable liquids, don't forget to buy your lunar Radon protection kit ...


9

According to Apollo 11 Lunar Surface Journal, Armstrong made his first description of the regolith as soon as he stepped out from the ladder and pronounced his famous "giant leap" phrase: 109:23:38 Armstrong: I'm at the foot of the ladder. The LM footpads are only depressed in the surface about 1 or 2 inches, although the surface appears to be ...


8

Assuming you could extract all the water from the soil, which apparently has roughly 2% of it by weight (by the way, that's really dry and even the driest of desert sands contain more), then you'd need at least 189.27 kg (417.27 lb) of Martian soil to produce one gallon (≈ 3.79 liters) of water. This would be extremely difficult to do though and would ...


8

They did, although apparently not on that particular sample and for the analysis that you link to, but the low carbon content was discouraging. No carbon, no organic compounds. Later studies of Apollo Lunar samples have provided some interesting, though perhaps expected results. It seems most of Lunar regolith organics that were found could have been ...


7

From Mars Fact Sheet: hydrogen (H), carbon (C), nitrogen (N), oxygen (O), argon (Ar), neon (Ne), krypton (Kr), xenon (Xe). From Inorganic analysis of martian surface samples at the viking landing sites: (DOI: 10.1126/science.194.4271.1283) silicon (Si), iron (Fe), magnesium (Mg), aluminum (Al), sulfur (S), calcium (Ca), titanium (Ti), strontium (Sr),...


7

Recently I have found a similar ball-shaped stone (limestone or dolomite?), 4 cm in diameter, in a "gully" on a hillside in Budaörs, Hungary. I think it is Mother Nature furnishing curious things like this.


7

There is an excellent series called "Moon Machines" that is often shown on the Science Channel and is also available on DVD. The episode "The Lunar Module" discusses the fact that NASA was concerned that lunar dust might be deep enough for the lunar lander to sink into it. In my opinion, this series is an excellent documentary of the Apollo Program well ...


7

All 12 of the astronauts who walked on the moon reported that the dust smelled like gunpowder. For example, during Apollo 16, Charlie Duke reported 150:09:18 Duke: Houston, the lunar dust smells like gunpowder. (Pause) 150:09:27 England: We copy that, Charlie. 150:09:31 Duke: Really, really a strong odor to it. This NASA article confirms that all 12 ...


6

NASA SP-530 "Apollo Expeditions to the Moon", edited by Edgar M. Cortright, which is available on the NASA History Program Office website, states that prior to the landing of Surveyor I on the moon: Some scientists had theorized that astronauts could be engulfed in dangerously deep dust layers It does not detail whether these claims were taken seriously ...


6

Firstly, the Lunar and Martian regolith will be quite different in composition. Wikipedia has a short list of the harmful effects of Lunar dust, these have been added to, to include potential harmful effects of Martian dust. Darkening of surfaces, leading to a considerable increase in radiative heat transfer Abrasive nature of the dust particles may rub ...


5

As a Mars dust devil guy, I can say that the ubiquitous dust is NOT generally considered sharp-edged. Almost all of it is one of several clay minerals. Due to the absence of open water and given that the dust has been recycled continuously over many millennia (eroded, transported, deposited, re-eroded, etc), that dust is uniformly fine (2-4$\mu$m), "soft" (= ...


5

Yes, really, and there's a NASA study that describes this method. The microwaves couple strongly with the Fe0 to such a degree that a sample of Apollo soil placed in an ordinary 2.45 MHz kitchen microwave will literally begin to melt before your tea-water boils. It's also been published (see note 31 of the above document), and it's been tested (by ...


5

Since rock is classified by formation processes, each type of rock would be about the same no matter what planet you found it on. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metamorphic_facies) But you're right that finding certain types of rock is harder on the surface of the Moon or Mars than it is on Earth, whether it's because the minerals and pressure/temperature ...


5

The best bet is to get volcanic sand, which tends to have the rougher texture that is common on the Moon. Specifically, the base component to most NASA regolith stimulants is basaltic ash with a high glass content.


4

You can get a ballpark figure by assuming the roof of the habitat is flat, supported entirely be air pressure and doesn't weigh much in and of itself. Your diagram suggests a full Earth atmosphere inside, which would be nice for the occupants, but means shipping or finding a lot of nitrogen. Probably a lower pressure with a higher oxygen percentage would do. ...


4

There's some explanation in Judy Allton's 1994 "Archivist's Notes #3: Lunar Samples Presently Curated Under Helium". First, a definition: An SESC is the vacuum container used to transport from the moon. A large bolt top container connected to a gas cylinder supply of helium is maintained in the Returned Sample Vault. This container, known as the "bean pot"...


4

tl;dr: The slow sublimation rate over 4 days rules out CO2 as the primary component (which would have sublimated much more quickly when exposed to the warm-ish atmosphere and sunlight), and careful measurement of the strong downward slope in reflectivity in the near infrared at about 1 micron from hyperspectral imaging demonstrates ~99% water ice for at ...


3

This study explores the mechanisms behind dust levitation. Itputs the levitation altitude at 10 cm. The study also shows why the Surveyor landers recorded a glow that can be attributed to levitating dust, but Apollo crews didn't see this phenomenon: the effect is strongest near the terminator (day/night border). This model suggests the dust is really ...


3

First, we have to define 'regolith'. NASA uses the term for all unconsolidated debris, including large boulders: The lunar surface is covered by a layer of unconsolidated debris called the lunar regolith (fig. 53). The thickness of the regolith varies from about 5 m on mare surfaces to about 10 m on highland surfaces. Lumps smaller than 1 cm are called ...


3

"Made In Space" is the company that built the 3D printer currently on board the ISS. I recently heard a talk from their co-founder at a local commercial spaceflight conference, and he mentioned that they were researching and testing how to do exactly that (though still in the ground test phase). Here's a short video that confirms this:


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