As NASA makes a big push to land humans on the moon’s surface by 2024, the European Space Agency ( ESA ) wants to learn more about the lunar caves that lie beneath. The lunar expert said : ” Exploring and mapping these tubes could provide new information about the moon’s geology, but they could also be an interesting option as long-term shelter for future human visitors to the Moon.” ArianeGroup with Arianespace will be joining forces with a German start-up, PTScientists, which will provide the lunar lander, and Belgium’s Space Applications Services will provide the ground control facilities.
“The use of space resources could be a key to sustainable lunar exploration and this study is part of ESA’s comprehensive plan to make Europe a partner in global exploration in the next decade” , said Dr. David Parker; Director, Human and Robotic Exploration at ESA.
A scientist from NASA, the space agency could look into lunar pits or lava tubes on the Moon colonies.
Since they ‘re underground, Green noted that the lava tubes are naturally occurring channels formed by flowing lava which moves beneath the lunar surface. These structures could prove important for future space exploration missions, providing shelter from cosmic radiation, extreme temperature, and meteorite impacts.
Image Credits: Illustration by Maciej Rębisz