A newly discovered lunar cave – found by Japanese researchers – may prove to be the ideal spot for the development of a moon base.
The United States and Russia recently revealed their plans to establish the Deep Space Gateway – a lunar satellite that would fuel future endeavours into the depths of our solar system – and now a team of Japanese researchers may have identified a prize position for a terrestrial moon base.
Japan’s Selenological and Engineering Explorer (Selene) probe recently uncovered a large 50-meter wide by 50-meter deep opening underneath the moon’s Marius Hills region – a chasm which has now been established to be some 50 kilometers long by 100 meters wide.
Researchers believe that the tube-like surface might have been carved out by lava thanks to volcanic activity 3.5 billion years ago – and reason that there could be well-suited to human settlement.
Jaxa senior researcher Junichi Haruyama recently told The Guardian that the area “might be the best candidate site(s) for future lunar bases, because of their stable thermal conditions and potential to protect people and instruments from micrometeorites and cosmic ray radiation.”
Though the idea of subterranean living might invoke some of the scenes of Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, the area may be an apt choice for a settlement site considering that the location of the chasm could protect inhabitants from temperature dips and the sun’s ultra-violet rays.
The news should prove to be a boon for the Trump administration, which has recently re-focused NASA from its Obama-era objective of Mars to a return trajectory towards the moon.
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