Scientists suggest bombarding the lunar surface with lasers to create moon roads

Lunar soil is dangerous for rovers, spacesuits, and human lungs if it's inhaled by astronauts, but what if lasers were used to blast it?

1 minute & 19 seconds read time

Researchers have blasted simulated lunar soil on Earth and fused the soil into what could one day be used as roads and landing pads on the lunar surface.

Scientists suggest bombarding the lunar surface with lasers to create moon roads 654

Lunar soil isn't favorable for exploration on the surface of the moon, both by astronauts and rovers. The lunar soil is comprised of lunar volcanic rock that has been bombarded by the Sun's radiation, resulting in it being a very fine pounder that is electrically charged. This charged powder appears white as the surface of the moon reflects light from the Sun, but its true color is more of a dark gray. Notably, the moon doesn't have any wind, or water systems, which on Earth erode soil, making the edges of the tiny granules less sharp.

The moon's soil is the opposite, with many of its fine dust particles having sharp edges. Since most of the soil is electrically charged, it proves to be "especially sticky," according to Juan-Carlos Ginés-Palomares, an aerospace engineer at Aalen University in Germany. The combination of the aforementioned factors regarding moon dust makes it a real hazard for rovers, astronauts, landings, and general exploration on the surface.

A new study by Ginés-Palomares and a team of researchers has performed an experiment with laser beams that simulated concentrated sunlight to produce triangular-shaped tiles 9.8 inches wide and 1 inch thick. This same technique could reportedly be used to fuse together large regions of the lunar soil in preparation for landings, or roads for rovers and astronauts to travel on.

"In this way, tiles could be created on the moon in a relatively short time with simple equipment," Ginés-Palomares said.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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