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Charge-Dissipating Paint Provides a Potential Solution to a Dusty Problem



  apollo lunar study of psd astronaut harrison schmitt 1
11 December 1972 – Scientist-astronaut Harrison H. Schmitt collects samples of lunar rake at Station 1 during the first Apollo 1
7 extravehicular activity ( EVA) at the Taurus-Littrow landing site.
Eugene A. Cernan, Apollo 17 Commander

A challenge of moon launches is one small thing you can't think of anymore – moon dust. Despite – or perhaps because of – its small size, the fine dust that covers the surface of the moon causes a range of technical problems from gumming up electronics to perfection. This is potentially harmful to the health of astronauts.

Now, NASA has a solution that can help alleviate the dust problem. It created a new coating for use with satellite components, using a technology called atomic layer collapse to apply a very thin layer of indium tin oxide, which dissipates electrical charges, onto the dry pigment paint. Then, the paint can be applied to satellite components to protect them from generating electrical charges. To test the coating, the wafer paints were pumped into the plasma on board the International Space Station to see how they would prevent it. The problem with the dust of the moon is partly due to plasma, as it is the ultraviolet radiation from the Sun that positively charges every dust particle and makes them stick to everything. So it occurred to the researchers that their method could also be applied to rovers and spacesuits of the moon.

"We have conducted many studies investigating moon dust," Bill Farrell, a scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and head of a lunar environment study organization, explained in a statement . "A key finding is to make the outer skin of spacesuits and other human systems conductive or non-discoverable. In fact, we have strict requirements for spacecraft conductivity due to plasma. Both ideas are applies to spacesuits. A future goal is for technology to produce conductive skin materials, and it is currently being developed. "coating spacesuit materials for further testing. Eventually, they can apply the same coating to larger areas such as surface rovers too.

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