Whoever remembers the imprint of astronaut Neil Armstrong’s shoes on the moon knows that the surface of the moon is covered with a layer of moon dust. This is also called regolith.
This dust could cause problems if astronauts land on the Moon repeatedly in the future. Or when they explore the surface of the moon with special vehicles. The astronauts will create large dust clouds. Due to the lack of gravity, the dust clouds will also persist for a long time.
Scientists are working to find a way to melt moon dust to build landing sites or roads. Since bringing equipment to the moon costs a lot of money, researchers are looking for ways to melt the top layer of regolith using concentrated sunlight. Just like you can start small fires here on Earth with a magnifying glass.
To mimic this effect in the laboratory, the researchers used a carbon dioxide laser. They have also found a suitable substitute for moon dust. Tests show that the melting method is suitable for creating large slabs of the test material. It also seems possible to make some kind of tile. You can connect them together to tile part of the moon’s surface.
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