One idea floated by planetary scientists is that Mars and the moon have built-in shelters, which are lava tubes. These ancient geological formations are far bigger and offer astronauts shelter in the future exploration to the moon and mars.
The tubes are not small might be 100 or 1000 times larger, which means space for habitations. Lava tubes are these caves that are remnants of lava flows, that was formed from a volcanic vent on hardened rock.
Scientists have studied them, and they've visited the molten channels on Hawaii, Canary Islands, Australia, and Iceland. Most of them measure from 33 to 98 feet wide, reported CNN.
In one study, the length of these lunar and Martian tubes can be 25 miles at most. This was determined from satellite images, radar, and observations of skylights that were these collapsed tubes. Another is the use of models made from spacecraft data on the moon of mars.
When comparing the diameter of these lava channels, researchers discovered they can be as much as 1 kilometer in circumference. One could slot in a tall building on earth. One of the reasons for their exceptional size is the gravity affecting volcanic activity which in turn creates these immense tubes that can fit the Empire State Building.
According to Riccardo Pozzobon, study coauthor and planetary geologist, and connected to the department of geosciences of the University of Padua. On the moon the lava tubes are huge it can hold a city center inside it. This study was published in the journal Earth-Science Reviews.
He added that the moon's lava tubes under the lunar surface hide humongous channels that are well preserved because of less gravity. If there are any that are not intact, these would be the ones damaged by asteroids striking the lunar surface. Striking asteroids cause skylights that preclude drilling for access for astronauts later on.
Logically, more information about these tubes will be needed like how these volcanic formations can shelter space explorers on the moon or Mars.
According to Pozzobon and Franceso Sauro, study author and professor, having these stable voids that have skylights as a way to gain entry is a way of altering how exploring a planet is possible, how everything is done from habitation to planetary research. This changes how everything is viewed, noted WAAY 31.
For astronauts, this will be a different perspective on how exploring a planet is done, not just on the surface. Even what discoveries can be made is more diverse, and how does the technology tackle these changes as well.
Space spelunking on the moon and mars
Unknow surfaces on planets and moons are harsh environments that need to be addressed. For space explorers, the presence of these tubes will be helpful in protecting them from unknown surface environments.
Equipment carried by them might be damaged and that is not safe especially for life support needed to survive off-world. These caves provide a natural shelter for both men and equipment.
Better yet if the tubes have frozen water reservoirs, as extra water sources off-planet from the earth. Technically it will need planning to know how to deal with it.
Dangers are rife for the first astronauts, these lava tubes might be the first shelters for man. But such problems are solved by science in time.
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