NASA plans on giving robots, and eventually human explorers, a spot on the moon to conduct their work by terraforming the natural satellite's Shackleton Crater.
The initiative is one of the seven proposals that the space agency approved for Phase II of the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program.
Shackleton Crater is located in the South Pole area of the moon and is considered by researchers to be a prime real estate for terraforming experiments, according to Popular Science.
The proposal is aimed at turning the crater into a miniature hospitable environment, filled with solar-powered transformers to support robots day and night.
The crater, named after Ernest Schakleton, the famous explorer of Earth's own South Pole, covers about 130 square miles, which is about twice the size of Washington, D.C. and is surrounded on all sides by peaks that rise over 14,000 feet above the surface of the crater, Popular Science reported. Scientists have already found water inside the crater, which is essential for any future human habitation.
The idea is for robots with reflectors to work at the edge of the crater to help beam the sun in, while robots inside the crater will build the "oasis" of the mini-habitat.
NASA said in the proposal that if all preparations for the mini-habitat on the moon are successful, then the cold darkness will no longer be a problem for the robots, as blankets and RTGs would provide them with cover and warmth, respectively.