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Volcanic tunnels may provide shelter on the Moon

We have already been to the Moon several times, but we need to overcome more obstacles for not just to get there, but to stay there as well. Russian scientists say the surface of the Moon may help us in this endeavor.



We might get closer to the foundation of the first Moon colony with the discovery of the volcanic tunnels below its surface. These formations can provide natural shelter in the Moon, and Russian scientists and space explorers believe it can open the way to the first Moon colony.


Two views of a lunar pit, the collapsed roof a lava tube at Mare Ingenii with opposite angles of illumination. The opening is 120 m wide and about 70 m deep.


It has been suspected for a long time that the Moon’s volcanic past left some kind of a trace on it, namely in the form of underground lava tubes. Veteran spaceman Sergei Krikalyov, who heads Russia's Star City cosmonaut training center told the Reuters news agency that the discovery of the Moon being a porous body could significantly change the approach to lunar bases. These tubes and tunnels can give protection from radiation and meteors. What is more, there would be no need to dig the lunar soil and build walls and ceilings. The first such lunar colonies could be built by 2030.


Lava tubes and pits exist here on Earth too: this opening at the Surtshellir cave in Iceland is similar in size to the ones photographed at the Moon.


Éva Vándor


Image sources:

1.) 2.): LRO, NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

3.) Foto Kraj, CC BY-ND

Last Updated (Wednesday, 26 October 2011 10:43)

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