This cave is actually huge and asunderstood, it is ideal for establishing a lunar base. As usual everyone forgets the third dimensionin these things. It may be 120 meterswide but that really means its diameter is also close to the same figure. Thus it is reasonable that a cross section ofseven thousand square meters will provide at least 25 stories or about 2500meters of horizontal space. Thistranslates easily into 5,000,000 square meters of usable living space that canbe constructed inside the lava tube.
However you pack them after that,a population approaching 500,000 is possible while 100,000 are easy.
Without question, these lavatubes solve a lot of problems and provide a secure working environment thatwill be easy to protect against breaches.
Otherwise surface structure willneed radiation protection and that is expensive to haul in. Besides, the best protection will always befeet of rock. In fact, the building of spacehabitats may well necessitate the use of space rock to provide reasonableprotection from the huge range and variability of the solar flux and othercosmic rays.
Or it may turn out to be alwaysthe cheapest and simplest solution to hand anywhere.
Jesus Diaz — Backin 2009, the Japanese Space Agency JAXA announced moonhole deep enough to contain a small human base. Now, the Indian SpaceResearch Organization has discovered a "giant underground chamber"near the Moon's equator, in the Oceanus Procellarum area.
The huge cave— discovered by the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft—is more thanone mile long (1.7 kilometers) and 393 feet wide (120 meters). By comparison,the vertical hole that Jaxa discovered was only 213 feet (65 meters across) and289 feet deep (88 meters). This new chamber is big enough to contain a smalllunar city or a secret Nazi base with a few thousand UFOs.
The Indian researchers have published a paper detailing their findingsand talking about the possibility of making this giant underground vault as afuture human base. The settlement would be protected from radiation,micro-meteor impacts, dust and extreme temperature changes by the lavastructure:
Lava provides a natural environmental control with a nearly constanttemperature of minus 20 degrees Celsius (-4 degrees Fahrenheit), unlike that ofthe lunar surface showing extreme variation, maximum of 130 degrees Celsius(266 degrees Fahrenheit) to a minimum of minus 180 degrees Celsius (-292degrees Fahrenheit) in its diurnal (day-night) cycle.
They also point out that explorers would only need minimalconstruction, without the added cost of having to use expensive shields againstthe hazardous lunar environment.
If humans ever colonize this chamber, I hope they call the cityAttilan. [SiliconIndia]
ISRO finds cave in moon, can be used as base station for astronauts
Thursday, 24 February 2011
An analysis by an instrument on Chandrayaan-1 revealed a 1.7-km long and 120-metrewide cave near the moon's equator that is in the Oceanus Procellarum area ofthe moon that could be a suitable 'base station' for future human missions.
Bottom of Form
Scientists of the Space Applications Centre in Ahmedabad said in a researchpaper published in the latest issue of Current Science that the cave provides"a safe environment from hazardous radiations, micro-meteoritic impacts,extreme temperatures and dust storms."
Scientists said identifying sites for permanent base for human settlements onthe moon is important for further exploration.
"Lava tubes provide a natural environmental control with a nearly constanttemperature of minus 20 degrees Celsius, unlike that of the lunar surfaceshowing extreme variation, maximum of 130 degrees Celsius to a minimum of minus180 degrees Celsius in its diurnal (day-night) cycle," they said.
According to them, the lava tubes offer a dust-free environment and adaptingthem for human use requires minimal construction.