Here is an interesting article about the possible dangers of flying moondust when we go back to the Moon, particularly to stay at moonbases. The film and video of lunar landings and liftoffs showed the dust flying off at high speeds. During landing, the Lunar Modules (LMs) descent engine scoured the surface as the lander approached, kicking dust out at speeds of probably around a kilometer per second. Without an atmosphere on the Moon, the dust will fly off on ballistic trajectories rather than billowing like it does on Earth during rocket launches that we see commonly on TV. The article above shows the affects of concrete blasted out of the flame trenches of the shuttle launch pads that drill holes in fences and damage other equipment. The smaller rockets used in landing on the Moon will not have enough force to blow big rocks out, but instead, it is the smaller dust that will be dangerous to equipment on the Moon at a moonbase.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
You've got to check out the two HD videos posted on the Kaguya website. One shows Earthrise over the north pole of the Moon and the other shows Earthset over the lunar south pole. These are views I wish I could go look at with my own two Mk I eyeballs! The lunar south pole movie shows the crater Shackleton at the south pole which is thought to have perhaps the only place on the moon where the sun literally never shines and might be a location where we might find some ancient lunar ice. Thanks to Chuck Wood at the Lunar Picture of the Day for posting the link as well as posting a high resolution image from the movie (which I've taken the liberty to make my background on my laptop). When I first saw this image, I thought for sure it was some artwork! In fact, it reminded me some of a painting I did a few years ago that you can see at this link. Looking back on that painting, I don't think I made the shadows long enough....