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[en] We report studies of photon-stimulated desorption, also known as light-induced atomic desorption, of sodium atoms from a vacuum-cell glass surface used for loading a magneto-optical trap (MOT). Fluorescence detection was used to record the trapped atom number and the desorption rate. We observed a steep wavelength dependence of the desorption process above 2.6 eV photon energy, a result significant for estimations of sodium vapor density in the lunar atmosphere. Our data fit well to a simple model for the loading of the MOT dependent only on the sodium desorption rate and residual gas density. Up to 3.7x107 Na atoms were confined under ultrahigh-vacuum conditions, creating promising loading conditions for a vapor-cell-based atomic Bose-Einstein condensate of sodium.