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the surface of The Moon is covered by a strange and “sticky” powder that permeates everything around him. Although at first glance may seem harmless, the microscope it can be seen that each grain is extremely sharp and is rough like sandpaper. In addition, its small size gives you the ability to sneak in through nooks and crannies of detail. It was a threat underestimated in the first few Apollo missions, and triggered from a strange smell that came back with Armstrong and Aldrin to the lunar module after the first hike to a unknown disease lunar, suffered by Harrison Schmitt , an astronaut of Apollo 17 -this is the “hay fever lunar”, a disease that makes you sneeze compulsively and that can become very dangerous if inhaled in large amounts, producing something like the silicosis that experienced by the miners.
Now that NASA has planned to re-pose men (and first woman) on the Moon with the program Artemis, the u.s. space agency doesn’t want to commit the same error and looking for solutions to the annoying and dangerous lunar dust. It is for this reason that offers $ 180,000 (more than 150,000 euros ) to whom we offer solutions to counteract the consequences of this tiny threat, however, can put at risk the whole mission and even severely affect the health of the astronauts.
“NASA seeks innovative ideas within the academic community for a wide range of solutions for the mitigation of lunar dust and problems that include the reduction of the dust clouds to the land , the removal of dust from space suits and other surfaces, the obstruction of the optical systems and the reduction in -cabin particle levels, among others”, explained in a press release from the u.s. space agency.
BIG Idea Challenge
In particular, it is 2021 BIG Idea Challenge , an initiative that brings proposing to the university students at undergraduate and postgraduate level, which will bring new approaches to the real problems of the space missions. “The 2021 BIG Idea Challenge provides the opportunity to design, build and test new technologies that could be used for applications polka dots. This contest is meant to be a challenge of open innovation with minimal limitations for teams to proponents can create and develop solutions ready-to-use”.
The interested party, who must register prior to September 25, 2020, shall provide a solution to the following challenges:
– The prevention and mitigation of the dust in the lunar landing : avoid or protect the interactions with columns of dust or the lunar surface, which may result in the probes of the moon.
– The tolerance and mitigation of the dust on the space suits : limit the adhesion of dust, and other harmful effects to their systems.
– prevention, tolerance, and mitigation of the exterior dust : protect the systems of the lunar surface, or to prevent the dust from getting in habitats and aterrizadores.
– The tolerance and mitigation of the dust in the cabin : clean volumes, habitable, and their interior surfaces, helping to prevent dust to reach the station Gateway and the ship Orion when the lander returns to lunar orbit from the surface.
The proposed video will be up before the 13 of December of this year and the finalists will be invited to present their solutions in the 2021 BIG Idea Forum , due in November 2021.
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