Simulated Moon Dust Kills Cells and Alters DNA, Signaling Trouble for Future Lunar Colonists

Astronaut Harrison Schmidt sampling the lunar dust in 1972.
Image: NASA

Astronauts hoping stay on the moon long-term missions have another reason to worry about moon dust: It could be quite harmful if inhaled, as demonstrated in a new study.

We’ve long known that moon dust could cause trouble. During the Apollo missions, astronauts complained of sneezing and watery eyes after tracking dust from their spacesuits back into their ships. Scientists need to take moon dust and rocks into account when designing lunar landing equipment, because it sticks to everything.

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