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Chandrayaan-1 Spots Giant Underground Chamber On the Moon

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the where-the-tang-mines-will-be dept.

Moon 322

siliconeyes writes "Scientists at the Indian Space Research Organization have discovered a giant underground chamber on the moon, which they feel could be used as a base by astronauts on future manned missions to moon. An analysis by an instrument on Chandrayaan-1 revealed a 1.7-km long and 120-metre wide cave near the moon's equator that is in the Oceanus Procellarum area of the moon that could be a suitable 'base station' for future human missions."

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322 comments

Fist post! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35401288)

Fist post!

to echo a commenter on TFA.... (3, Interesting)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401290)

dust storms on the moon? really? honestly? come on, people.

Other than that, sure, sounds spiffy. Now we just need to wait for something useful to do up in Space (and practical, for that matter.)

Re:to echo a commenter on TFA.... (5, Informative)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401318)

There are certainly dust storms of a sort. Dust is moved by electrostatic forces as the sun rises and sets - all those charged particles coming out of the Sun, unimpeded, is like rubbing an amber rod with cat fur.

Re:to echo a commenter on TFA.... (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#35402010)

What next, whalers on the moon?

Re:to echo a commenter on TFA.... (1)

youn (1516637) | more than 3 years ago | (#35402096)

I believe next step is either a monolith or lucy in the sky with diamonds ;)

Re:to echo a commenter on TFA.... (4, Funny)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401320)

which they feel could be used as a base by astronauts on future manned missions to moon.

What makes them think the moon's crawlspace is not already in use?

Re:to echo a commenter on TFA.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35401546)

Speaking of, is there any value in an off-planet datacenter? I think that's The Solution for disaster recovery. It'd also be a good spot to store backups of common genetic sequences and general knowledge "just in case". I volunteer for the new tape monkey position :D

Re:to echo a commenter on TFA.... (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#35402168)

Vacuum is a darn good insulator, so it would be a terrible datacenter unless it used eject-able heatsinks of some sort.

Re:to echo a commenter on TFA.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35401346)

Dust storms do sound a bit unlikely, but I'd bet the inside of the lava tube would have far less dust from millions of years of asteroid bombardment.

Re:to echo a commenter on TFA.... (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401906)

Though there's a lot less dust up there than we once thought. There's a rather enjoyable Arthur C. Clark story "A Fall Of Moondust [wikipedia.org] ", written pre-moon exploration, which describes ships faring through the stuff.

Re:to echo a commenter on TFA.... (4, Insightful)

anakin876 (612770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401416)

The problem isn't the dust storm, the problem is the dust coming in on the suits. It's sharp and when breathed in can create serious health problems. It gets all over the place.

Re:to echo a commenter on TFA.... (4, Insightful)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401630)

So add in an electrostatic ion breeze just inside the airlock. Or if you have extra water(moon I know) a quick hose down will work as well.

There are several ways to deal with that problem.

Re:to echo a commenter on TFA.... (0)

xenn (148389) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401780)

Bong suit?

Re:to echo a commenter on TFA.... (3, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401552)

Something to do in space? Like... solar power unimpeded by an atmosphere? Near limitless material resources? Industrial production with no concern for environmental impact?

Re:to echo a commenter on TFA.... (4, Funny)

ross.w (87751) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401948)

Whaling. Don't forget whaling. If there ain't no whales, you could tell tall tales and sing a whaling tune.

Re:to echo a commenter on TFA.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35402034)

None of those are remotely within our technological capacity. It's nice to dream, but eventually you have to do some engineering, you know, REALITY. There is no way to get space-based solar power even remotely practical or economical. Period. End of story. You might have near limitless rocks out there, but we have lots of rock down here too. And it's quite easy to get to them here. Space? Not so much. What industrial production could you possibly do in space? We have absolutely NO infrastructure up there, and no chance AT ALL , EVER, of doing anything remotely practical or feasible in space. It's ridiculous to suggest that we can.

You seem blissfully ignorant of how things actually work. I suggest a course of remedial reality. Find out how things are done now. What makes you think you know better?

Re:to echo a commenter on TFA.... (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | more than 3 years ago | (#35402052)

This cave is near the equator, and as you know, the moon is dark two weeks every month. You'll need some pretty good power storage systems to keep a manned base running for that long on backup. The only place you would have (nearly) perpetual sunlight would be on the poles.

Re:to echo a commenter on TFA.... (5, Funny)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401608)

Many Bothans died to bring us this information.

Re:to echo a commenter on TFA.... (2)

esoterus (66707) | more than 3 years ago | (#35402088)

The Moon is indeed... a harsh mistress.

The aliens live in it (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35401292)

So do the humans plan evicting the aliens that live in there? Or do they live only on the side of the moon that doesn't face Earth?

Re:The aliens live in it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35401486)

Everyone knows the aliens actually live inside the face on mars. Didn't you play X-Com?

Re:The aliens live in it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35402142)

If they are at all intelligent, they don't face the Earth.

fist cave post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35401296)

fist cave post

Re:fist cave post (3, Funny)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401312)

We have a cave troll!!!

Lava Tube (5, Informative)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401326)

A far better link is this one: http://www.moonsociety.org/reports/ISRO_Lavatube_Discovery.html [moonsociety.org]

You can't tell the length of a chamber from a photograph of the surface. Its not at all clear that there is any enclosed space in this tube. It could have been that the un-collapsed section is in fact filled full of derbies. Until we can hit them with ground penetrating radar its probably guesswork.

Re:Lava Tube (1)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401422)

chamber filled with debris>no chamber at all

Re:Lava Tube (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35401614)

"filled". chamber filled with debris == no chamber at all.

Re:Lava Tube (0)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401826)

Sorry to be outrageously pedantic but this has always bugged me, '==' represent a query not a statement it's like saying 'is a chamber filled with debris equal to no chamber at all' vs. using '=' which would be 'a chamber filled with debris is equal to no chamber'.

As for the actual substance of your post I would assume that it will be much easier to empty out a chamber filled with crap rather then construct a chamber from scratch. The only argument I can see is if it's actually worthwhile to use a subterranean base, perhaps prefab buildings on the surface is the way to go.

Re:Lava Tube (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35401910)

If you're going to be outrageously pedantic, you should at least strive to be correct while you're at it.
== does not represent a query, it represents a comparisson, indicating "is equal to". A single = would mean "thing on left becomes thing on right".
Next, it's "rather than" - saying you'd rather empty out a chamber filled out with crap then construct a chamber from scratch is stupid - why would you construct one from scratch if you've already emptied one out? (hint: Then with an E means "do thing A. Then do thing B", and both get done. "Than" with an A is for comparing, where you're rather do thing A than thing B, and only one gets done.
(You ARE the one who wanted to get pedantic.)
As for the practicality of it, a chamber-shaped area filled with rubble with no atmosphere and lunar gravity is likely to be every bit as difficult to clear out as it would be to dig a fresh tunnel. Possibly more so, due to the possibility of collapsing rubble from an already partly collapsed lava tube. There's a good chance that the rubble may be the only thing preventing further collapse. (ie: The roof of the tube is resting on it.)

Re:Lava Tube (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35401926)

If I say "X," what I'm saying is that X is true. If I say "if X" or "X?," I'm making a query for which I don't know the answer. If I say "X == Y," I'm saying that this evaluates to true. AC didn't put a question mark nor did he say "if." There is an implied "this statement is true." What AC is saying is that X == Y results in true/1.

Re:Lava Tube (1)

DarthJohn (1160097) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401430)

Sweet! Let's get there ASAP! I want my Moon Hat! How many derbies would it take to fill that cave? Surely there's enough to go around!

Re:Lava Tube (1)

Datamonstar (845886) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401894)

One tin-foil derby coming up!

Re:Lava Tube (1)

dklon (561205) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401446)

It could have been that the un-collapsed section is in fact filled full of derbies.

If it's filled with derbies, I think we better get up there fast and close the hat gap we're going to be experiencing soon with the rest of the world. Not trying to be a grammar Nazi, and thanks for the link!

Re:Lava Tube (3, Interesting)

nabsltd (1313397) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401902)

If it's filled with derbies, I think we better get up there fast and close the hat gap we're going to be experiencing soon with the rest of the world.

We've know for a while that people aren't wearing enough hats [imdb.com] , but now we know just how big the problem is.

It's just binocs chewin' on the power cables... (4, Funny)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401328)

Make sure workers in that cave have plenty of copies of 'The Empire Strikes Back' with a high definition cave scene!

FOOLS (1)

Nicky G (859089) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401336)

This is obviously the aliens' flying saucer moon base. We best not mess with it.

I've only one thing to say (4, Funny)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401340)

You have been eaten by a Grue.

Re:I've only one thing to say (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401692)

Classic. My own first thought was they better fill it with torches quick, so it'll stop spawning creepers.

metal munching moon mice (2)

arbitraryaardvark (845916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401342)

for some reason when i read this the phrase "metal munching moon mice" popped into my head. apparently it's from a rocky and bullwinkle episode i must have seen a very long time ago. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metal-Munching_Mice [wikipedia.org]

da...da...da.... (0)

russlar (1122455) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401350)

DA DA

dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun

Re:da...da...da.... (1)

unitron (5733) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401908)

Is that you speaking, Zarathustra?

Dahak? (1)

overshoot (39700) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401356)

Is that you?

Re:Dahak? (1)

russlar (1122455) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401374)

wow, I'm not the only one who read that book.

Pics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35401364)

Pics or it didnt happen.

Data haven (4, Informative)

Jaxoreth (208176) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401368)

Since the moon isn't covered by any legal jurisdiction, it would be a perfect place to set up a data haven. In fact, I believe one company already has plans to set up a lunar facility [google.com] .

Re:Data haven (2)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401432)

Since the moon isn't covered by any legal jurisdiction, it would be a perfect place to set up a data haven. In fact, I believe one company already has plans to set up a lunar facility [google.com] .

Two words: high latency.

People won't settle for crappy ping times - a minimum of 2,600 ms.

And of course, it's only usable when the moon is above the horizon.

Re:Data haven (2)

dakameleon (1126377) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401746)

On the other hand, it's just about the perfect definition of off-site backup!

Re:Data haven (1)

unitron (5733) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401916)

True. In the event of something happening that takes out both the Moon and the Earth, your data will be the least of your concerns.

Re:Data haven (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#35402086)

Umm... I'd even say, if something takes out the Earth, your data isn't really your concern. On the Moon or elsewhere.

Re:Data haven (1)

Facegarden (967477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35402232)

True. In the event of something happening that takes out both the Moon and the Earth, your data will be the least of your concerns.

Unless your data includes "How to build a new Earth." Then you'd want it!

Re:Data haven (3, Interesting)

meerling (1487879) | more than 3 years ago | (#35402056)

The one way trip time for a radio signal between the Earth to the Moon is about 1.3 seconds if I remember correctly.
Hollywood never shows it, but then again they have people on radios from Mars in real time and that's something like a 20 minutes to a half hour one way.
Just imagine calling home from Mars. You dial the number, then wait a half hour before it starts ringing on Earth so someone will pick it up, by the time you hear them saying "hello", about an hour has gone by. Not very reasonable.
The 1.3 seconds to the Moon would drive most computer communication protocols nuts, especially since they won't know if the other end has even received a packet for a bit more than 2 and a half seconds. Someone out there has written an interplanetary protocol, but I don't believe it's actually been implemented for anything.
As a side note, NASA uses their own custom stuff to talk to their probes. They even have to take into account doppler shift due to the relative speeds and trajectories of their probes and receivers. It can get really messy if you haven't planned for it.

All times will vary depending on the exact positions between the two bodies since they are orbiting the sun in different orbits, and if you want to communicate with something on the other side of the sun from you, you can't, at least not directly. To do that trick you have to send the signal to something else that can see both you and your intended recipient so they can relay it, which means a longer route and so a longer delay in any communications.

Sci-Fi is so much easier with Ansibles, Sub-space Radios, and other types of instant communications.

Re:Data haven (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401456)

Since the moon isn't covered by any legal jurisdiction, it would be a perfect place to set up a data haven. In fact, I believe one company already has plans to set up a lunar facility .

The moon's not covered by any legal jurisdiction, because at the moment, it doesn't really need to be. Once any human activity starts, the lawyers will crawl out of the woodwork, and treaties, contracts and agreements will begin to stack up nicely. Pretty much as it does in International Marine Law.

It's an whole new way for lawyers to make money, and that they surely will. For every company planning something interesting on the moon, there's at least one law firm that has considered the implications, and their fee.

Re:Data haven (2)

Kosi (589267) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401472)

Bah, just send them out for a walk, once they are up there. Problem solved.

Re:Data haven (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401638)

that would be my plan for all the we didn't walk on the moon conspiracy theorists. Take them up there first and convince them they are right and they can just remove their helmets.

Sometimes Darwin needs a hand.

Re:Data haven (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35401904)

Since the moon isn't covered by any legal jurisdiction, it would be a perfect place to set up an anything-goes brothel

Fixed that for you. If that was not the first idea that comes to mind, then... nevermind, you're reading Slashdot anyway.

Re:Data haven (1)

meerling (1487879) | more than 3 years ago | (#35402100)

Actually there are international agreements that cover various extra-terrestrial endeavors, especially those regarding the Moon.

Useless place (2)

joh (27088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401376)

This cace is "near the moon's equator". The only places where we could find water are on the poles. So, what to do there? Sitting in a cave doing nothing may be fine, but why go to the moon for that?

Re:Useless place (4, Interesting)

Graff (532189) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401794)

This cace is "near the moon's equator". The only places where we could find water are on the poles.

It's not that hard to move the water, especially in a low-g environment such as the moon. A pipeline from the pole to the equator would be about 1,700 miles, definitely possible considering that the longest pipeline on Earth [wikipedia.org] is around 2,500 miles.

You could also have largely autonomous vehicles which shuttle back and forth from both sites on a ballistic trajectory, it would take a relatively low amount of energy. Hell, I'd use something like a space fountain [wikipedia.org] or launch loop [wikipedia.org] because most of the energy of launch could be re-captured when the payload lands.

Natural lava tubes this size are a great find for many reasons:

  • living quarters will need considerable shielding from:
    • high-energy particles
    • pressure differences
    • temperature swings
    • micro-meteor impacts
  • the best first-line of shielding will be the moon's regolith, it's dense and locally-available
  • excavation takes time and that means a lot of money supporting the crew and equipment doing the digging
  • you'll have to shield the crew during excavation, which means you need to bring shielding with you

A large, stable lava tube greatly simplifies the entire process and saves a lot of time and money.

Back to the caves (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35401380)

Caveman > Bronze Age > Iron Age > Industrial Age > Space Age > Caveman

Re:Back to the caves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35401408)

"->" is an arrow. ">" is a greater than sign. making your statement mathematically inaccurate.

Re:Back to the caves (2)

Collapsing Empire (1268240) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401710)

Your post is full of grammatical errors so don't get started.

Re:Back to the caves (1)

AC-x (735297) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401554)

But, would it be a cave spaceman or a space caveman??

Re:Back to the caves (2)

Escape From NY (1539983) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401770)

I don't know much about cave spacemen, but some people call me the space cowboy.

Re:Back to the caves (2)

517714 (762276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35402198)

I think I'll just call you Maurice.

Use for lunar cavern (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35401396)

People old enough to have read and enjoyed Heinlein stories may recall that he wrote one that included a lunar underground (subselenean) cavern pressurised with air in which lunar colonists could strap on modest-sized wings and tailfeathers and fly like birds, for recreation.

Re:Use for lunar cavern (1)

turbidostato (878842) | more than 3 years ago | (#35402044)

"People old enough to have read and enjoyed Heinlein stories"

Uh!? Has English changed so much back from the sixties/seventies that books that old are readeable no more?

I've seen that movie! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35401410)

"Chandrayaan-1 revealed a ... wide cave ... that could be a suitable 'base station'"

Han Solo thought that, too.

almost useless (2)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401414)

Unless this is a deep, deep chamber the possibility of it collapsing when pressurized precludes just plugging up holes and using it. All it's good for is radiation shielding.

Re:almost useless (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35401506)

It's not just radiation shielding. TFA mentions protection from micro-meteoritic impacts, extreme temperatures and dust storms.

Re:almost useless (2)

Graff (532189) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401836)

Unless this is a deep, deep chamber the possibility of it collapsing when pressurized precludes just plugging up holes and using it.

The plan for this kind of construction usually involves shoring and lining the tube to be sure that there are no weak points or leaks. You'd also build structures inside the tube that are sealable and have redundant safety measures.

A lava tube would would make an excellent first-line of protection but it wouldn't be the only one. It would save a lot of time and money in the construction of a lunar settlement.

In further news... (4, Funny)

CityZen (464761) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401428)

Scientists also report seeing a tall black monolith inside the chamber. Investigations are continuing...

Poor Cavor... (1)

actionbastard (1206160) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401460)

Re:Poor Cavor... (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401858)

Heh, I was wondering whether I was the only person old school enough to be thinking of H.G. Wells and his Selenites.

Illuminati is Getting Lazy (2)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401464)

I'm surprised they allowed their mass-media mind-control network to leak the fact that there are tunnels on the Moon. Perhaps they accidentally drank some of their own fluoridated water? Either way, the Annunaki will be pissed.

Shit, they found it! (4, Funny)

Kosi (589267) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401484)

Bloody human scientists! Now I have to relocate.

She's a harsh mistress (1)

newsman220 (1928648) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401498)

Obviously where the Nazis fled at the end of WWII. Now, where's my thorium?

That's no moon cave... (1)

ratguy (248395) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401508)

It's a space station!

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (1)

jacobsm (661831) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401528)

Excellent location for Simon Jester to hang out in.

Re:The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (1)

hemo_jr (1122113) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401618)

Or Adam Selene.

Re:The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (1)

morgandelra (448341) | more than 3 years ago | (#35402194)

I just want to talk to Mycroft Holmes IV

dust-free? really? (2, Insightful)

pz (113803) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401582)

From the article, "the lava tubes offer a dust-free environment and adapting them for human use requires minimal construction. "

I think someone's been drinking too much of the strong coffee if they can conclude anything about dust levels in a lunar cave without having put any telemetry into the hole, or think that adapting any natural structure on the moon requires minimal construction without having actually imaged the fine-scale condition of the rock.

Re:dust-free? really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35401752)

The mechanisms for dust accumulation on the Moon are pretty well understood. Those mechanisms wouldn't deposit much dust in the tubes.

Re:dust-free? really? (5, Informative)

quarterbuck (1268694) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401792)

The original paper is published in an open access journal [ias.ac.in] and the authors have covered the issues you mention.
Their citations 2-8 are other papers which discuss the possibility of using caves like this for human habitation. The paper also includes spectroscopic studies of the composition of the roof -- seems like lots of Iron and Titanium.This seems to indicate Basalts (volcanic) according to the paper.If it withstood a lava flow, presumably it will survive an atmospheric re-pressurisation/ bunch of construction crews drilling away.

But what is in the cave? (1)

ALeader71 (687693) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401592)

If you believe the transformers new movie, the cybertronians crash landed there centuries ago.

I think we'll find undead vampire zombies myself!

Re:But what is in the cave? (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401674)

My God...it's full of Nazis! [ironsky.net]

kickass next gen data center? (1)

youn (1516637) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401610)

naturally cooled habitat at -20c ... 1 second away from earth... roundtrip tip may suck for wallstreet but could be fun

Brillant! Just brilliant! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35401616)

That HG Wells, he knew this and wrote about it in First Men In the Moon back in 1901.

If the chamber is deserted, I wonder...did he really go to the moon?

20,000-year-old robot in there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35401670)

Just maybe...

Re:20,000-year-old robot in there? (1)

dreadlord76 (562584) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401738)

Awesome! At least 1 person read the book.... Remember, the robot has to be mind reading as well.

Maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35401672)

This thing is hollow... it goes on forever and... oh my god, it's full of stars!

(from memory, be kind to me quote nazis)

they'll be fine... (1)

s0litaire (1205168) | more than 3 years ago | (#35401974)

...As long as they don't drop a "Clanger" and upset the "Soup Dragon"...

Even more holes in the Moon (1)

meerling (1487879) | more than 3 years ago | (#35402112)

It's not up to Swiss Cheese status, but they keep finding more and more gigantic holes, this is just the latest and currently the one with the largest estimated size. Let's see what they find next year...

Yay Heinlein! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35402128)

If you haven't read "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress", do.

site selection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35402130)

Most likely the first "real" moon base will be located where the water is. Water would be needed to make fuel, food and oxygen and would negate building a huge ship to carry supplies and water to the moon.

Roof is 2x as thick as the depth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35402160)

I am only a rocket engineer and not an actual Rocket Scientist (tm), so could someone explain to me what this means from the original article:
> The roof thickness of the uncollapsed portion of the lava tube is estimated using the empirical relation of crater geometry
> t = d × 0.25 × 2,
> where t is the estimated thickness of the tube segment, d the maximum crater diameter superposed on the tube segment. Thus the
> maximum depth is approximately one quarter the crater diameter (0.25 × d), and the roof thickness is at least twice the depth.

A) It isn't a crater, it is a lava tube formed by a completely different mechanism and thus should be expected to have a non-similar morphology, so using this formula makes sense why?
B) If "the roof thickness is at least twice the depth" of the crater, there would be no air gap, unless the roof is arched over the "crater", which still sounds pretty nonsensical to me due to the amount it would have to arch up and meet the criteria of their calculation.

This is potentially contradicted by their statements 2 paragraphs later:
> Here, the maximum crater diameter on the uncollapsed portion of the lava tube is 140 m. The roof thickness estimated is 70 m."
I have a feeling that I understand what they are trying to say with crater diameter with respect to depth (though I disagree with it, since this scans as if they are saying that craters have a hemispherical cross-section, which is obviously false based on any crater I have ever seen or created), but if I am understanding it right the roof thickness should be 1/2 the depth, not 2x?

The following paragraph explains what they expect in terms of terrestrial lava tubes, and that DOES make sense, but trying to calculate lava tube (flow or pooling created, presumably) characteristics based off of crater (impact or explosion created, presumably) characteristics fills me with cognitive dissonance.

Now, if you will forgive me, I have some shit to go blow up before I have to turn in my engineer card for actually bothering to read not just TFA but TFOATFAIBO (the fine original article the fine article is based on).

Daneel Olivaw's base 20,000 years from now... (1)

aok (5389) | more than 3 years ago | (#35402192)

...after the Earth had been all but abandoned and become a legend.

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