Dirt from the moon may damage the health of astronauts

May 11, 2018 - By Orlando Souther

Dirt from the moon may damage the health of astronauts

Dirt from the moon may damage the health of astronauts

The new research made by scientists of School of Medicine from Stony Brook University, NY, states that dust at the moon kills lung cells in human body.

They published fresh data at Popular Mechanics online magazine. It was headed by scientists Bruce Demple and Rachel Caston, geneticist.

Researchers found out that soil on the moon is toxic, and can damage lungs by just small particles of lunar dirt.

Harrison Schmitt, the member of Apollo 17 team has called this condition “lunar hay fever” in his interview to Smithsonian. He said he felt a sore throat, watery eyes, and sneezing. The same reaction experienced workers of coal mines and witnesses of volcano eruptions. Dust that people breath near these objects can lead to the long-term damage to lungs and also the rise of risks to get cancer.

How did they test it? Researchers from University took brain cells of mouse and batch lung cells of human and exposed them to different types of dust from the earth which can closely remind the consistency of moon dust.

“There are risks to extraterrestrial exploration, both lunar and beyond, more than just the immediate risks of space itself”, says Caston.

This test showed that 90 percent of cells were killed by particles similar to lunar dirt, and it also destroyed the DNA.

“If there are trips back to the moon that involve stays of weeks, months, or even longer it probably won’t be possible to eliminate that risk completely,” says Demple.

Why is it toxic? There are many reasons, but one of the main is that unlike the earth dust, lunar is constantly charged from sun’s upper layers particles.

While the study was made with similar dust from the earth, scientists did not test cells with lunar samples.  However, it confirms previous theories of NASA scientists that lunar dust is dangerous for health. During the mission of Apollo on the moon, lunar soil which was charged electrostatically by the atmosphere, stuck to spacesuits and carried into the living environment after astronauts came back from the exploration of the moon surface.

Modern scientists have to solve the problem and take care that particles of rocks and dust from the moon don’t stick to the spaceship or the crew.

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