Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
October 19th, 2017
For centuries, humanity has fantasized about living on the Moon. Now, thanks to a groundbreaking discovery by scientists at Japan’s space agency, that day has come one more closer to reality.
Scientists report they have discovered a massive cave just beneath the lunar surface that could be used as a base for a future Moon base.
With nearly every major industrialized nation aiming to send manned missions to the moon, this discovery by Japan’s Selenological and Engineering Explorer (Selene) probe, could kick that goal into overdrive as nations push to be the first to claim the cave as their own.
The probe discovered the huge cave using a radar sounding system that can detect and examine underground structures. The probe found a 50 yards wide, by 50 yards deep opening, prompting further investigation.
After further examination, it was determined by JAXA – Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency their suspicions of a cave existing were correct.
They found that the chasm is 31 miles long, 100 yards wide, and appears to be structurally sound.
It’s believed the rocks likely contain ice or water deposits that could be turned into fuel or breathable oxygen, based on the data sent back by the orbiter.
The Guardian, Jaxa believes the cave, located from a few dozen metres to 200 metres beneath an area of volcanic domes known as the Marius Hills on the moon’s near side, is a lava tube created during volcanic activity about 3.5bn years ago.
“We’ve known about these locations that were thought to be lava tubes … but their existence has not been confirmed until now,” said Junichi Haruyama, a senior researcher at Jaxa.
Lava tubes “might be the best candidate sites for future lunar bases, because of their stable thermal conditions and potential to protect people and instruments from micrometeorites and cosmic ray radiation,” Haruyama said.
“The same stable and protected environment that would benefit future human explorers also makes them an enticing target for scientific study.
“Careful examination of their interiors could provide unique insights concerning the evolutionary history of the moon.”
The agency said the chamber could be used as a base for astronauts and their equipment, because it would protect them from extreme temperatures – ranging from an average of 107C during the day to -153C at night – and radiation from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
“We haven’t actually seen the inside of the cave itself so there are high hopes that exploring it will offer more details,” Haruyama said.
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