Cave big enough to house astronauts found on moon: Japan scientists

Rodiano Bonacci
Ottobre 23, 2017

Now, researchers from the Japanese space agency JAXA have proposed a possible solution: Using the naturally-occurring hollow lava tubes on the lunar surface as makeshift shelters. And many scientists have long dreamed of building bases inside natural moon caves, where lunar explorers might sleep safely in inflatable homes, protected from the storms above. After some intense searching, a possible location was spotted on an area of the moon known as Marius Hills. But he also said that there is no mission had yet started on a lunar cave entrance, even some doubted the existence.

Scientists at Japan's space agency have discovered a huge moon cave that could one day house a base that would shelter astronauts from risky radiation and wild temperature swings, officials said Thursday.

Kaguya orbiter, Japan called it as Kaguya orbiter. It launched in 2007 with state-of-the-art instruments, deployable satellites and a mission to solve the great mysteries of the moon's origin.

In 2009, Kaguya drifted 60 miles above the Marius Hills and took a picture of a large, deep hole.

The holes are usual on the moon's surface. But a follow-up shot, closer to the ground managed to get by the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, as a team of Japanese and American researchers gives the account in Geophysical Research Letters last week.

The researchers wrote that the floor of the hole extended several meters eastward and westward under the ceiling of two other holes like a mouth of a tunnel.

Lava tubes form when the outer part of a flowing stream of lava cools into a hard, rocky layer.

GRAIL measured tiny fluctuations in the moon's gravity to map out mountains and subterranean features. The Japanese probe blasted radar waves down onto the suspected tunnel, listening for anomalies in the echoes that came back from underground.

It must be ancient, and may be buried more than 300 feet below the surface.

If the researchers are correct then, it will look like the colonies the old Apollo scientists were looking for.

"Their existence has not been confirmed until now", Junichi Haruyama, one of the paper's authors, told Agence France-Presse.

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