While scientists are working on ways to thwart radiation and counter lunar dust (not to mention voting for pro-space politicians), they may have to find another solution regarding the Moon's love for "static electricity."
(Space.com) This new finding, announced this week by NASA, is important to future lunar explorers: Astronauts may find themselves "crackling with electricity like a sock pulled out of a hot dryer," according to an agency statement. [...]
Our entire planet is enveloped in a bubble of magnetism generated by the rotating core. The solar wind, a stream of charged particles, pushes the bubble away from the sun and creates a long tail of magnetized material downstream.
"Earth's magnetotail extends well beyond the orbit of the moon and, once a month [at full moon] the moon orbits through it," said Tim Stubbs, a University of Maryland scientist working at the Goddard Space Flight Center. "This can have consequences ranging from lunar 'dust storms' to electrostatic discharges."
Probably the easiest way to deal with this challenge is to somehow find a way to turn the lunar static into energy, which may be much more useful than either solar or nuclear power.
Hopefully a future scientists/engineer will find some way of accomplishing this, as the last thing we need is "fried astronaut" served up lunar side via an electrical charge.
Want more space geek news? Then subscribe below via email, RSS or twitter for free updates! Prefer another service? How about via RSS or follow Colony Worlds on Twitter!