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Jun 17 2015

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Moon has a permanent dust cloud around it

Moon engulfed in permanent, lopsided dust cloud. The cloud goes as high as 70 miles above the surface of the Moon. They believe that it is caused by the constant bombardment of micro-meteors, which kicks up thousands of grains of regolith with each impact.

Interestingly, the cloud seems too thin in density to account for what Apollo astronauts saw on the Moon’s horizon:

I believe that most of the dust kicked up would return to the surface of the Moon within a handful of seconds, but this begs a question from me:

  • When there is a constant human presence on the Moon, how much more dust will be kicked up by regular launches from the Moon’s surface?

I don’t believe that this would ever be a big issue, but it might be worth figuring out what the maximum number of launches per day would be before the dust cloud reached some operational unacceptable level, and then how long launches would have to pause before the “air” cleared enough to start launching again.

Hmmmm…I sense a doctoral thesis in there somewhere. I expect credit for the idea if a reader conducts such a study!!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/06/17/moon-has-a-permanent-dust-cloud-around-it/

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