The measurements of movements of lunar dust made by the four  Apollo Dust Detector Experiments (DDEs) deployed by Apollo 11, 12, 14 and 15, and the Thermal Degradation Samples (TDS) experiment of Apollo 14 provide rich introductions to the dusty plasmas that inhabit the uppermost 2cm of the nominally inert Moon whose radius is massively greater of about 1740km.

The dynamic activity of the dust when humans or hardware moves on the surface, and through naturally-occurring activity such as caused by sunrise, contrast greatly with the inertness otherwise.

But there are many other features that make the uppermost 2cm of the Moon a most remarkably unique laboratory, deserving not only specialised research by many lunar scientists already making many important discoveries. We suggest these 2cm on the Moon also offer uniqueness in specialist science and engineering that deservedly could entice physicists, chemists and  engineers of many specialties to broaden their existing expertise drawn from Earthly phenomena and theoretical explorations.

Brian O'Brien, left, then a Rice professor, and his student David Reasoner work on a moon-bound experiment in the 1960s. Photo courtesy of the Fondren Library

Brian O'Brien, left, then a Rice professor, and his student David Reasoner work on a moon-bound experiment in the 1960s. Photo courtesy of the Fondren Library

Here we only dot point a few of these phenomena of the outermost 2cm of dusty plasmas:

·         hard vacuum

·         immersed in the solar wind

·         duts particles with rich variety of shapes and characteristics

·         dust particles of sizes  of nanoparticles

·         chemically active nuclei recently inhabitants of the outermost regions of the Sun

·         extreme variations in lunar surface temperatures between day annd night

·         impacted by effects of eclipses

·         impacted by raw particle radiation from phenomena as broad-ranging sources and intensity as magnetopspheric radiation similar to that which causes aurroras in two halos around the magnetic  poles of the Earth' intense solar particle radiation from intense solar activity, cosmic radiation, and a host of electromagnetic radiation from varied sources of the  universe

·         cosmic dust bombardment fom a wide range of rocks of varied size, composition, direction and momentum.

In time we will gradually develop references to specialist experts in phenomena such as nanoparticles and nuclear chemistries.

In short, the material information in this modest website, largely about movements of dust on the Moon, are operationally vitally important for physical exploration of the Moon by humans and robots.

But they also open up, in curious ways, the invitation expressed 53 years ago on the football field of Rice University by President John F. Kennedy:

 We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people. For space science, like nuclear science and all technology, has no conscience of its own. Whether it will become a force for good or ill depends on man, and only if the United States occupies a position of pre-eminence can we help decide whether this new ocean will be a sea of peace or a new terrifying theater of war....

 But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.