NASA’s Moon Bugs may one day drive on lunar roads

The moon seems to be getting more visitors than ever, and NASA and its partners are planning to build a permanent base on the lunar surface for astronauts to stay longer.

Crews will explore the lunar surface in next-generation rovers, but mission planners are seriously concerned about all the harmful dust those bugs kick up as they go by.

To solve the problem, engineers melted the dust and paved the way to create paved surfaces that would provide a safer and smoother ride for the rovers and their passengers.

For Earth-based experiments using simulated lunar dust, the project uses a laser beam to melt powdery dirt onto a glassy solid surface. However, engineers believe that astronauts on the moon could replace the laser with sunlight through a Fresnel lens.

The European Space Agency (ESA) shared details of the work in a video posted online on Sunday. It is as follows A detailed report About the technology released earlier this month.

Engineers working on the project have found a way to use 1.77-inch-diameter (4.5 cm) laser beams to create triangular, hollow-center geometries 7.87 inches (20 cm) across. The tiles could be interconnected to create solid surfaces over large areas of lunar soil that could serve as roads or landing pads, ESA said.

The project team estimated that it would take about 115 days to build a suitable landing pad using this method.

ESA materials engineer Adventit Makaya described it as „glass-like and brittle” and subject to downward compressive forces that would render repairs unnecessary if it suffered any cracks.

Lunar dust is abrasive and sharp, and poses a serious threat to low-gravity missions to the Moon.

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„Dust suppression has been a problem for NASA since Apollo,” According to the US space agency on its website. „As astronauts entered and exited the lunar module, dust was everywhere – it clogged mechanisms, interfered with instruments, overheated radiators and even tore their spacesuits.”

Anything that can keep the dust at bay would be a welcome improvement for the upcoming Artemis missions, so engineers will continue to develop pavement technology and turn dust into roads in hopes of sending it to the moon.

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