The lunar surface is hostile to life forms because of its harsh environment. The lack of atmosphere on the moon has exposed the lunar surface to frequent meteorite showers that can disrupt astronauts’ exploration of the moon. As NASA is preparing to establish a permanent human presence on the moon, the agency is collaborating with researchers to achieve its long-term goal on the moon. A team of researchers funded by the American Space Agency recently discovered a cave on the moon that is perfect for sustaining humans on the moon’s surface.
This newly discovered lunar pit always has a temperature of 63 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool temperature of the cave reveals that it can be perfect for the crew hoping to explore the moon in the future.
What is the Challenge NASA is Trying to Resolve through this latest discovery the cave on the moon
NASA is hoping to return humans to the moon starting with its Artemis 3 lunar landing mission. The mission is scheduled to take off in 2026 and will pave the way to establish a permanent human presence on the moon.
Since NASA is looking at establishing a long-term presence on the moon, the agency is looking at building a lunar base to sustain its crew throughout its mission on the moon. This innovative idea will also help NASA and other space agencies in sustaining humans on the surface of Mars and beyond.
Why NASA is in search of a safe place for its future Moon Crew
No astronauts can survive the harsh nature of the lunar surface without the aid of technology. NASA is seriously working on its exploration plans to make the moon habitable for its crew. Keep in mind that the surface temperature on the lunar surface ranges from -280 F at night to 260 F during the day. Since the moon does not have magnetic fields or an atmosphere like Earth, the crew exploring the lunar surface will be exposed to radiation that is about 200 times greater than radiation that reaches Earth.
The absence of an atmosphere on the moon exposes its surface to meteorite bombardment to land much harder and faster than meteorites on Earth. Hence, space rocks stand as one of the most devastating threats astronauts will encounter on the moon.
What You Should Know About the Newly Discovered Cave on the Moon
Almost every lava tube on the lunar surface came into existence more than two billion years ago when the lunar terrains were volcanically active. The researchers that came up with this discovery are suggesting that newly spotted underground moon bases could solve astronauts’ moon base issues in the future. Researchers have found about 16 pits on the lunar surface since 2009. They revealed that these pits were created when the roof of a lunar lava tube was shaped like a cave. NASA could build a moon base inside these pits for future astronaut missions.
The essence of building a moon base inside the moon pit is to extend the lifespan of the base and also protect the crew from space meteorites and radiation. The astronauts can always return to their base after working on the lunar surface. Scientists revealed that this innovative idea will protect the crew from harsh temperature conditions on the moon.
How the Researchers Conducted the Study
The astronomers conducted the new study using computer models and data obtained from the thermal cameras mounted aboard NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Based on this collected data, the scientists were able to determine that temperatures within the darker part of a particular lunar pit have a temperature of about 63 F during the entire day-night cycle. The team believed that the favorable temperature was possible because the pit’s shade is stopping the region beneath it from becoming extremely hot during the day and also holding back heat from radiating out of the pit during the lunar night cycle.
Astronauts living inside this moon base will find it difficult to move in and out of the pit. This is because the bottom of the base will reach 328 feet below the lunar surface. In reality, it will be like climbing out of a depth of a 30-story building to the surface. However, NASA will likely figure out how to solve the problem of climbing out from the base before considering putting a base inside the lunar pit.
“Humans evolved living in caves, and to caves, we might return when we live on the moon,” said study co-author David Paige.
A team of researchers funded by NASA recently discovered a cave on the moon for human exploration of the lunar planet. Since the hostile nature of the lunar terrains will make it difficult for NASA to build its futuristic lunar base on the surface, the American space agency may consider building a habitat inside the newly discovered cave on the moon. What do you think about this fascinating discovery?