From way down here, it looks so harmless. I mean, it’s just the moon, right? We’ve walked on its face, so how bad can it be?
But for those of you out there who dream of someday hanging out on the moon and going all bouncy-castle among the craters, here’s something to keep in mind from former NASA developer Katy Levinson:
The dust on any celestial body is called regolith, but lunar regolith comes from a special kind of hell. It’s created by the impacts of foreign space bodies striking the Moon’s surface. This causes big rocks to break up, while fusing little bits of it back together to form horrific pointy shapes, often covered in tiny, glassy shards…An engineer or doctor’s nightmare, particles of regolith are small enough to cause similar health problems to asbestos, though you’d die from inhaling small airborne razors long before you developed mesothelioma.
And seriously? The regolith is just one of the more game-ending tricks the moon has up its sleeve. Over at Boing Boing, Levinson has a whole mess of reasons why the moon is both harsh and awesome (300 degree temperature swings! Nights that last almost a month!). For you writers out there, it’s something to keep in mind next time you have Captain Dash Strongjaw rolling around in the dust fighting moon weasels or whatever it is you do. And for you colonists-in-training, maybe you should ask yourself if you’re really down for living somewhere that the dust can kill you from the inside out.
The Moon Is Terrifying, And That’s Why I Love It [via Boing Boing]