Lunar Lava Tubes Could Host Underground Moon Cities

Ethics Asylum

Image Credit: NASA/JSC/ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY

Earth’s moon is rife with huge lava tubes — tunnels formed from the lava flow of volcanic eruptions — and new theoretical work suggests that these features could be large enough to house structurally stable lunar cities for future colonists.

Data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission suggests that lava tubes on the moon could have diameters in excess of more than half a mile (1 kilometer). These features could support future long-term human exploration on the moon, offering shelter from cosmic radiation, meteorite impacts and the wild temperature swings of lunar day and night, according to scientists with Purdue University who performed the study.

Purdue University researchers presented their research during the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference held here March 16-20. [Lava Tubes on the Moon: Home for Astronauts? (Video)]

Beneath the Moon

According to Jay Melosh, a Purdue University…

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