News media representatives are invited to hear NASA scientists discuss the moon’s mineralogy, the toxicity associated with moon dust, and how to prevent its potentially hazardous effects to astronauts exposed to it.

During a workshop entitled “Biological Effects of Lunar Dust,” scheduled March 29-31, 2005, at the Radisson Inn, Sunnyvale, Calif., leading scientists and physicians will review current knowledge about lunar dust and its medical risks, and recommend strategies to obtain new information needed for medical and engineering experts to manage the particulate risk for lunar exploration.

“NASA is planning to begin human explorations of the moon between 2015 and 2020 in preparation for human expeditions to Mars,” said Russell Kerschmann, chief of the Life Sciences Division at NASA Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley. “The impact of lunar dust on crews and equipment is a high risk area, and our workshop will focus on defining those hazards in order to assure the safety of astronauts returning to the moon as part of the Vision for Space Exploration.”

Reporters and other attendees will also have an opportunity to meet the guest speaker, Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmitt, the only geologist to have walked on the moon.

The findings of this workshop will be documented in a report for NASA decision makers, mission development personnel, and advisory committees. The workshop is co-sponsored by NASA Headquarters, NASA Ames Research Center and NASA Johnson Space Center.

For information about the workshop, visit:

To schedule interviews during the workshop, contact Michael Mewhinney at 650/604-3937 or via email: