Sunday, January 3, 2010

Lava Tube Awaits Lunar Colonization

Photo: ISAS/JAXA/Junichi Haruyama et al. via Popular Science
Or something like that. Actually that headline is waaaay better than "Moon hole might be suitable for colony" which was CNN's attempt at 4th grade humor.

It looks like JAXA (Japanese for NASA) has identified a lava tube that's 213 feet wide and 260 feet deep which could potentially shield lunar colonists from the dangers of intense radiation. If you've made it this far without devolving into complete "Uranus" joke humor, then congrats, because this is actually pretty cool news. From CNN:
"Lunar lava tubes are a potentially important location for a future lunar base, whether for local exploration and development, or as an outpost to serve exploration beyond the Moon," writes the team, led by Junichi Haruyama, a senior researcher with the Japanese space agency JAXA.
"Any intact lava tube could serve as a shelter from the severe environment of the lunar surface, with its meteorite impacts, high-energy UV radiation and energetic particles, and extreme diurnal temperature variations."
Lava tubes have previously been discovered on the moon, but the scientists say the new hole is notable because of its lava shield and because it does not appear to be prone to collapse.

The full story...

Popular Science also has a nice article.

1 comment:

Narmer said...

Very cool news. It won't stop the people who live there from saying, "This place is the pits."