"Preventing dirt from covering equipment, which could cause damage or bacteria growth, is essential even on the moon. .... Now NASA researchers are developing a new plant-inspired material that could prevent the dust from sticking.
The material is based on the lotus plant, which is known for shedding water, and is already commercially used on windows, camera lenses, and eyeglasses."
A wide range of coatings being developed by NASA in conjunction with Northrop Grumman Electronics Systems and nGimat Corporation will be needed depending on the specific application, such as on flexible spacesuits, rovers and solar panels. The material is based on silica and oxides of zinc and other materials. Due to the Lotus Effect, contaminants do not stick to the surface and are picked up by water that beads and rolls off.