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Lunar Lawn Mower


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10 Nov, 2005

One of the many hassles of returning humans to the Moon will be the lunar dust. This tiny, gritty, static-loving dust will get into everything, jamming seals, wearing down equipment, and generally causing astronauts endless headaches. Larry Taylor from the University of Tennessee is proposing that astronauts use a heated "lawn mower" to melt the surface of the Moon around their base camp to fuse the dust into larger pieces which won't be so destructive. Lunar dust will melt down with surprisingly little energy because it contains microscopic beads of pure iron which can fuse the grains together.



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