Scientists mull lava tube where astronauts can hangout on the Moon

Scientists mull lava tube where astronauts can hangout on the Moon

Japanese space agency JAXA have proposed a possible solution for human settlement on the Moon by developing naturally-occurring hollow lava tubes on the lunar surface as makeshift shelters.

After some intense searching, a possible location was spotted on an area of the Moon known as Marius Hills. The research was published in Geophysical Research Letters.

Lava tubes form when the outer part of a flowing stream of lava cools into a hard, rocky layer. In the event that the lava flow is cut off the lava can drain from the tube, leaving a cylindrical rock formation behind.

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While that might not sound like a very suitable location for a base, it’s important to realize that these tubes can be absolutely massive in size, measuring hundreds of meters wide and stretching for a mile or more.

With a thick shell covering it, a human settlement on the Moon could avoid the bulk of radiation bombarding the surface while being shielded from minor impacts from small meteorites.

A covered location could also provide more stable temperatures rather than the dramatic spikes and dips experienced on the surface.


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