Search Marshall

Go

Photo Gallery

Text Size

Unique NASA Science Lab Tackles 'Sticky' Issue of Lunar Dust
08.24.05
 
Steve Roy
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
(Phone: 256.544.0034)
Photo release: 05-144


Dr. Mian Abbas observes a single grain of lunar dust. + Medium (665 x 447, 72 ppi)
+ Small (100 x 75, 72 ppi)

Dr. Mian Abbas, a space science researcher at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., watches as a single grain of lunar dust -- taken from the Moon during the Apollo missions of the late 1960s -- is isolated in a vacuum chamber. The research, conducted at the National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC) in Huntsville, involves bombarding the floating dust grains with ultraviolet radiation, which allows Abbas and his colleagues to study the grains' electrostatic properties and other characteristics. NASA and its partners at the University of Alabama in Huntsville are looking for ways to "shake off" the lunar dust, which clings to astronaut suits, lunar rovers and other delicate equipment and could pose a potential hazard to long-term Moon explorers. (NASA/MSFC)

A single, floating grain of lunar dust is suspended inside a vacuum chamber. + Medium (722 x 470, 72 ppi)
+ Small (100 x 75, 72 ppi)

A single, floating grain of lunar dust is suspended inside a 1-foot-diameter vacuum chamber in NASA's "Dusty Plasma Lab." Here, space agency researchers and their colleagues from the University of Alabama in Huntsville are "trapping" micron-sized particles of lunar dust and bombarding them with ultraviolet radiation to study the properties of the dust, which was obtained from the Moon during the Apollo missions in the late 1960s. Such research will offer insight into how future lunar explorers can protect themselves and their equipment from the clinging, invasive grit. Dusty plasma research is conducted at the National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC) in Huntsville, Ala., and is led by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. (NASA/MSFC)

Scientists isolate grains of lunar dust in a vacuum chamber. + Medium (722 x 470, 72 ppi)
+ Small (100 x 75, 72 ppi)

Dr. Paul Craven, left, and Dr. Mian Abbas of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., and Dragana Tankosic, seated, of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, isolate grains of lunar dust in a vacuum chamber in the "Dusty Plasma Lab" at the National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC) in Huntsville. Their research involves bombarding the floating dust grains -- taken from the Moon during the Apollo missions in the late 1960s -- with ultraviolet radiation, which allows study of their electrostatic properties and other characteristics. NASA and university scientists are looking for ways to "shake off" the lunar dust, which clings to astronaut suits, lunar rovers and other delicate equipment and could pose a potential hazard to long-term Moon explorers. (NASA/MSFC)


+ News Release