NASA calls on young scientists to solve the problem of sticky lunar dust | The Optimist Daily: Making Solutions the News
Today’s Solutions: June 22, 2024

This week on The Optimist Daily Update, our CEO Summers and Editor in Chief Kristy discussed the undervalued role that ingenious teens play in our society. Whether it’s coming up with coloring books to teach kids about the pandemic or donating to climate action, the next generation is a real source of innovation. Now, NASA is calling on young scientists to come up with a solution for problematic sticky lunar dust. 

“The more time you spend there, the more you get covered from helmet to boots with lunar dust,” said famous astronaut Buzz Aldrin. This pesky lunar dust is not only irritating, but it also could react with human cells to create “hydroxyl radicals,” which have been linked to lung cancer.

NASA is asking college students to come up with a solution to keeping the dust at bay. The space organization has tried specialty brushes and vacuums with minimal success.

The agency is offering up to $180,000 to between five and ten teams chosen by a jury of competition judges. The teams will have to demonstrate their creations themselves, ideally generating a solution which makes space suits impervious to the dust or removes the dust from surfaces effectively. 

We will be following this story and are excited to see the solutions generated by our world’s budding bright minds. 

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