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Receipt of a Small Apollo 16 Regolith Dust Sample for the Dusty Plasma Lab

Dennis Gallagher (ST13) reports receiving on 3/1/24, one gram of Apollo 16 regolith of 1 mm and smaller dust regolith from the Johnson Space Center (JSC) Apollo Archive. The material request is motivated by the planned NASA Artemis missions to the Moon’s south polar region where the surface is generally expected to be like that found at the Apollo 16 landing site. Electrostatic charging driven by the solar wind and ultraviolet light from the Sun is known to be important for small particles of lunar regolith that must be understood for potentially dust coated struts of the Human Lander System (HLS) that will cycle between the surface and Gateway. Presently, the charging properties of individual dust grains are not adequately characterized for this purpose. The measurements to be obtained by the MSFC Dusty Plasma Laboratory using Apollo 16 dust are intended to fill this knowledge gap are being obtained in support of the Gateway Cis-Lunar Dust Transfer Modeling and Analysis Task and HLS at JSC.

Surface of the Moon
The surface of the Moon.