Comtuter and Internet News Channel
When in 1969 the American astronauts walked for the first time on a dusty lunar surface, they returned to the command module of their ship with symptoms of hay fever. And numerous “kind words” addressed to a very small, blackish-gray substance that filled all the holes on the outer side of the spacesuits, thoroughly clogging the mechanisms. Today we know that the pioneers are still very easy to get rid of.
Moon dust is radically different from the terrestrial dust, since it was formed in the absence of atmosphere, wind and moisture. Millions of years of micrometeorites crushed the lunar regolith without resistance, it was irradiated with cosmic radiation, deformed the strongest temperature changes. As a result, a substance with very small granule sizes, strong adhesion, chemically reactive and in addition with a high static charge was formed.
Scientists from the University of Stony Brook simulated the lunar soil and put a series of experiments in which all the experimental living samples were killed. It turned out that lunar dust creates the effect of silicosis – a serious lung disease, which affects miners or people in regions with dust storms. Only the lunar dust proved to be much more aggressive and, as it accumulated, killed 90% of the cells in the human lung tissue faster than the observers reacted to the changes that appeared in it.
Even worse was the mouse, whose neurons after contact with the lunar dust received irreversible DNA damage. They expected a natural death from cancer. Scientists have not yet understood the mechanism of this process, but it is already obvious that the probability of formation of tumors when working with dust will be extremely high. Future colonists, however protected, were in serious danger.