Scientific Research

W&M professor key player in NASA Mars research

As if there wouldn’t be enough problems on our planet waiting for solutions, it turns out Mars has a very dusty environment.

Windblown dust ranging in size from sub-micron size to several tens of microns originating from the surface regolith of Mars is a constant feature of the atmosphere of the planet. During regional and global dust storms, the atmospheric dust is so thick that the surface of Mars is totally obscured from observation from Earth.

The Apollo astronauts had a very negative experiences with lunar dust. It permeated all mechanical systems, including the astronaut’s space suits and the Apollo landing capsule. On the return trip to Earth, the lunar dust affected...