Artist concept of the LADEE spacecraft in orbit at the Moon. Credit: NASA

NASA Looks Towards Next Mission to the Moon

by ANDY TOMASWICK on DECEMBER 17, 2012

With the GRAIL mission ending today, NASA is preparing for its next lunar orbiter mission, which could help pave the way for a potential future human mission to the Moon. While the Moon seems to be an ‘on-again-off-again’ potential human destination, as the GRAIL mission points out, studies of our closest neighbor in space continues to reveal surprises.

But if we are ever going to establish any sort of long-term presence on the Moon, scientists and engineers will have to understand more about the environmental conditions that they’re dealing with. Lunar dust is an environmental factor that requires much more exploration and study, as it may pose one of the biggest problems for humans on the Moon. Lunar dust is as fine as talcum powder and abrasive enough to cause long term problems to the lenses and seals central to the operation of mechanical equipment — not to mention hazards to human health — during any lengthy stay on the Moon.

Read more: NASA Looks Towards Next Mission to the Moon — Universe Today.

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