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A cosmic dust detection suite for the deep space Gateway

Wozniakiewicz, Penelope J., Bridges, John, Burchell, Mark J., Carey, W., Carpenter, J., Della Corte, V., Dignam, Aishling, Genge, M.J., Hicks, L., Hilchenbach, M., and others. (2021) A cosmic dust detection suite for the deep space Gateway. Advances in Space Research, 68 (1). pp. 85-104. ISSN 0273-1177. (doi:10.1016/j.asr.2021.04.002) (KAR id:88034)


The decade of the 2020s promises to be when humanity returns to space beyond Earth orbit, with several nations trying to place astronauts on the Moon, before going further into deep space. As part of such a programme, NASA and partner organisations, propose to build a Deep Space Gateway in lunar orbit by the mid-2020s. This would be visited regularly and offer a platform for science as well as for human activity. Payloads that can be mounted externally on the Gateway offer the chance to, amongst other scientific goals, monitor and observe the dust flux in the vicinity of the Moon. This paper looks at relevant technologies to measure dust which will impact the exposed surface at high speed. Flux estimates and a model payload of detectors are described. It is predicted that the flux is sufficient to permit studies of cometary vs. asteroidal dust and their composition, and to sample interstellar dust streams. This may also be the last opportunity to measure the natural dust flux near the Moon before the current, relatively pristine environment, is contaminated by debris, as humanity’s interest in the Moon generates increased activity in that vicinity in coming decades.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.asr.2021.04.002
Projects: Planetary Science at Kent 2019 - 2022
Uncontrolled keywords: Cosmic dust: Moon: Impacts
Subjects: Q Science
Q Science > QB Astronomy > QB651 Planets, Minor
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Funders: Science and Technology Facilities Council (
Depositing User: Mark Burchell
Date Deposited: 11 May 2021 07:43 UTC
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2024 08:29 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Wozniakiewicz, Penelope J..

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Burchell, Mark J..

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Dignam, Aishling.

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Hillier, Jon K..

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van Ginneken, Matthias.

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