Lunar and Planetary Institute






Apollo 15 Mission


Science Experiments - Lunar Dust Detector

The Lunar Dust Detector studied the effects of lunar dust on the operation of the experiment package.

The ALSEP Central Station. The Lunar Dust Detector is mounted on the front right corner of the Central Station.The ALSEP Central Station. The Lunar Dust Detector is mounted on the front right corner of the Central Station.

Prior to the Apollo landings, it was thought that there would be a heavy dust layer deposited on the ALSEP experiment package during lunar module ascent and possibly from other long-term sources. This experiment was designed to measure this dust layer deposition and was performed on Apollo 11, 12, 14, and 15. It was housed in the ALSEP central station and measured the power output from a set of solar cells. The dust accumulation proved to be much lower than expected, and the results from this experiment were also used to monitor the long-term degradation of solar cells from radiation and thermal effects. This was considered to be an engineering rather than a scientific experiment.

Experiment Results (NSSDC)

Additional Instrument Details (JSC)