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Argument: Martian dust is a major risk to a manned mission

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Bjorn Carey. "Martian Dust Major Risk to Manned Mission." November 1, 2005: "According to a NASA report that evaluates the risks of sending a manned mission to Mars, Martian dust poses as one of the biggest potential problems.

Compared to here, dust on Mars is thought to be larger and rougher, like the dust that covers the Moon. When Apollo astronauts landed there, they were covered in just a few minutes. Within hours, rough lunar dust had scratched up lenses and degraded seals.

While the lunar stays were short, if astronauts make the six-month journey to Mars, they’ll likely be expected to stay a while. That would give potentially hazardous dust plenty of time to accumulate in equipment, cause airlock malfunctions, or even infiltrate astronauts’ lungs.

'Martian dust is a number one risk,' says Jim Garvin, NASA chief scientist at the Goddard Space Flight Center. 'We need to understand the dust in designing power systems, space suits and filtration systems. We need to mitigate it, keep it out, figure out how to live with it.'"

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