View Full Version : Discussion: Static Electricity... in Space

2005-Aug-11, 05:46 PM
SUMMARY: When human explorers reach the Moon or Mars, they're going to have to watch out for something we've all experienced here on Earth: static electricity. Zap! It's annoying when you grab a door handle after rubbing your socks across the carpet. But the dry environments on the Moon and Mars could cause astronauts to build up a significant charge that could fry electronic equipment when they try to handle it. Astronauts may have to walk across a sheet of aluminum mesh to ground themselves before returning to base.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/uncommon_static_electricity_for_astronauts_to_cope .html)

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

2005-Aug-11, 10:11 PM
Hmm...static discharges on the moon are more like glowing spots...I understand there is a lunar anomoly list where astronomers have sometimes noted spots, often red spots that only appear for a short time. Perhaps they had spotted these static discharges. (Of course Hoagland would probably have attributed to aliens having a shoot-out somewhere on the moon)

I was about to overlook this article but because I don't recall hearing of any static that the astronauts experienced, and the moon landings solidly had my attention back then, I needed to see what they said about that.

(During one of those missions, there was a heavy rain and floods in my community. My girlfriend's mother insisted that our freak weather was caused "by those men messing around on the moon." :lol: )

2005-Aug-12, 10:16 AM
I imagine then that finding ways to disperse the charge buildup (such as walking on a metal floor) in these dry environments will become an important part of research and development... :)

2005-Aug-12, 02:27 PM
Platform soles on the spaceboots should do it!

2005-Aug-12, 03:59 PM
But the lunar astronauts did say that moon dust covered everything. Presumably, it stuck there electrostatically.

I was wondering how long it would take for the Hoagland conspiracy to come up. Many of his points are fully explained in detail in the classic documentary film Men In Black. :rolleyes:

2005-Aug-12, 09:42 PM
Jakenorrish, I'm surprised, I didn't know you were a fashion slave... :huh:

suitti, I loved Men In Black! - it's a documentary? :blink:

2005-Aug-13, 06:05 AM
If you would like to know what dangers that charge buildup causes, all you have to do is sit in the backyard and watch a bugzapper. Astronauts would have the persistent sensation of being zapped by a bug zapper. Problem is, it gets annoying or possibly lethal. Perhaps the astronauts should wear aluminum boots.

2005-Aug-13, 06:30 AM
Aluminium boots could restrict movement. If the dust does stick to the suit because of static electricity then the nuetralisation will be very important because the lunar dust is extremely corrosive.

2005-Aug-13, 01:21 PM
Aluminium boots could restrict movement. True, but a copper alloy wire mesh could be designed into the suits and boots allowing flexibility and less mass to accomplish the same result... :)