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We reserve the right to close comments at any time. Moon caves could be home to future astronauts A new study out of Japan suggests the moon is home to caves and possibly tubes cut out from lava, which could protect future astronauts from harmful space radiation. Oct 25, 5: Once humans have "spelunked" on the moon, they wouldn't necessarily have to dig through the metres of rock to build a home.
Moon caves could be home to future astronauts
Nicole Mortillaro Senior Reporter, Science. Ray September , "A search for intact lava tubes on the Moon: July 15, , "Distribution, formation mechanisms, and significance of lunar pits" , Icarus , February 25, , "Detection of potential site for future human habitability on the Moon using Chandrayaan-1 data" , Current Science , 4 , retrieved January 15, , "The structural stability of lunar lava tubes", Icarus , Earth and Space Retrieved from " https: Geological features on the Moon Lava tubes.
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Parts of the rille north of the site appear to be roofed over, although we cannot say if any parts of this rille consist of caves. A newly published scientific paper asserts that empty lava tubes on the Moon giant caves with free-standing roofs on the Moon may have enormous dimensions —hundreds of meters across, large enough to accommodate whole villages inside.
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The new paper suggests that lunar rilles, despite their large size, are able to support roofs of significant dimensions. Modeling of the stress induced by the low lunar gravity suggests that a lava cave with a roof only 2 meters thick might be stable over a kilometer-wide tube.
- Collected Prose.
- Cave Living on the Moon | Daily Planet | Air & Space Magazine.
- Reflections - Miscellaneous Monologues.
Thicker roofs would be stable for tubes as large as 5 km across, thus permitting very large habitats to be established within them below. Such a volume is large enough to accommodate a city-sized settlement.
Cave Living on the Moon
As mentioned, habitats set up in lava tubes have many advantages, including radiation protection and a benign thermal environment. In practice, the pressurized habitat would be placed in the cave and access roads would be built to go to and from the facility. In some cases, it may even be possible to seal the cave walls with some type of material e.
This approach would provide significant amounts of space for many residents and would only be employed in advanced stages of lunar habitation. However, we still are not certain that large void tubes exist on the Moon.
And there are several reasons to be skeptical.