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NASA: Lunar Pits and Caves Could House Astronauts

Soulskill posted about 2 months ago | from the assuming-we-ever-go-back dept.

Moon 157

An anonymous reader writes: Astronomers have documented hundreds of holes on the lunar surface. These aren't simply craters, but actual pits ranging from 5 to 900 meters across. Scientists suspects many of these will lead to underground cave systems, which NASA says would be great spots for an astronaut habitat once we get back to the Moon. "A habitat placed in a pit — ideally several dozen meters back under an overhang — would provide a very safe location for astronauts: no radiation, no micrometeorites, possibly very little dust, and no wild day-night temperature swings," said Robert Wagner of Arizona State University. He says it's time to send probes into a few of these pits to see what they're like: "Pits, by their nature, cannot be explored very well from orbit — the lower walls and any floor-level caves simply cannot be seen from a good angle. Even a few pictures from ground-level would answer a lot of the outstanding questions about the nature of the voids that the pits collapsed into. We're currently in the very early design phases of a mission concept to do exactly this, exploring one of the largest mare pits."

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AGW Activists Took Notice (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47489117)

AGW Activist took special notice of this and are trying to figure out how we can adopt this for everyone on earth. "It's been our goal for a while now to have everyone living in caves to help avoid global warming. This looks like a good plan for here at home"

Al Gore could not be reached for comment.

Re:AGW Activists Took Notice (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47489307)

Republican faggots already live in caves of denial.

Re:AGW Activists Took Notice (0)

Tyrannicsupremacy (1354431) | about 2 months ago | (#47489363)

I wonder what it's like to live life free of any form of cognitive dissonance like most lib scum...

Re: AGW Activists Took Notice (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47489811)

You libs are without humor. Very unpleasant people.

Re:AGW Activists Took Notice (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47490407)

Right, because democrats never live in their own caves/bubbles of denial and group think. Substitute group think based on market forces / profit with group think based on good intentions and you will find that facts and science and real world observations and results are all ignored in favor of the group think and the circular logic and references that result. Well, at least with the most enthusiastic at the respective political wings. The actual moderates near the center are the ones more susceptible to facts and science, not to be confused with the partisans who are deluded into thinking they are moderates/centrists.

Re:AGW Activists Took Notice (-1, Offtopic)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 2 months ago | (#47489789)

When you see AGW enthusiasts relentlessly opposing every lower-carbon solution instead of just the high-carbon energy sources, you have to wonder what their real agenda is. Just look at their desperate rearguard sniping against the Ivanpah, CA power plant. Their latest allegation is that it "fries birds."

Re:AGW Activists Took Notice (1, Offtopic)

BergZ (1680594) | about 2 months ago | (#47490459)

When you bring up climate science (and the people who advocate climate science) on an article about moon caves it makes you sound like a deranged cultist.
Just save your hateful sniping for the next climate change article. Slashdot has at least one every week.

Re: AGW Activists Took Notice (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47490749)

An AGW cultist talking about hate and cults. That's rich.

Hmm... (0)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 2 months ago | (#47489119)

I suppose that, like a proctologist encountering Goatse Guy... this "exploratory spelunking" will indeed need to be done from a distance. ;)

Urr, there's space between earth and moon.... (1, Interesting)

MobSwatter (2884921) | about 2 months ago | (#47489143)

Only if the US could get it's space program off mothballs... But there's no room in the budget for that due to the black budget takeover...

Re:Urr, there's space between earth and moon.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47489187)

If only the 19th century could get its (not it's) giant steam locomotive program out of the mothballs...

But you need to realize that the space fantasies are as obsolete as that 19th century locomotive.

But not for long, that steam locomotive might be all we're able to build in a hundred years.

Re:Urr, there's space between earth and moon.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47489223)

Just tell Republicans that they can send illegal immigrants to the moon, and billions of dollars will materialize.

Re:Urr, there's space between earth and moon.... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47489253)

Just tell Republicans that they can send illegal immigrants to the moon, and billions of dollars will materialize.

As a Republican, I'd be all for this if it actually got people to the moon.
RAH predicts the future again!

Re:Urr, there's space between earth and moon.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47489611)

Well, not as much as it'd get money into the bank accounts of government contractors.

Re:Urr, there's space between earth and moon.... (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 2 months ago | (#47489801)

Governments, ours especially, are not going to be participating in a lunar return, because there is no way that manned space programs beyond LEO can ever be made safe enough by today's standards.

In the long run, space exploration will be better off for this.

Re:Urr, there's space between earth and moon.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47489805)

You wouldn't know a Republican if one walked up and handed you a $5 bill. What an idiot.

At least two stupid posts in this article alone, like all of the other similarly moronic posts you make in almost every thread. Sheesh.

retarded nostalgia ... is lying. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47489425)

The space program is a lot more productive now than when we were focused on a retarded war with the Russians. Unlike the 60's, we're actually doing basic science and planetary science missions now instead of chest thumping bravado.

Re:retarded nostalgia ... is lying. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47489453)

Yes and none of that requires people in space. That's more retarded symbolism.

Re:retarded nostalgia ... is lying. (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 months ago | (#47490683)

Technically, it just might, if a single skilled geologist can do in a day what a rover with twenty minute radio round trips does in months.

Re:retarded nostalgia ... is lying. (1)

WalksOnDirt (704461) | about 2 months ago | (#47490711)

We just need better robots!

Re:retarded nostalgia ... is lying. (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 months ago | (#47490783)

Well, we're going to need those anyway. But the problem is, the better (more capable?) robots are *also* going to be more error-prone. That's the dilemma: At what point does the failure rate outpace the marginal mission capability improvements?

Re:retarded nostalgia ... is lying. (1)

sillybilly (668960) | about 2 months ago | (#47490999)

I think we should mine these lunar craters and the center of the Moon for gold, platinum, iridium, and heck, even nickel. You know, meteorite stuff. Leave the iron there, unless building space stations.

Re:retarded nostalgia ... is lying. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47489493)

True - NASA has gone back to basics!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]

Space program greatly benefited from the cold war (3, Interesting)

perpenso (1613749) | about 2 months ago | (#47490461)

The space program is a lot more productive now than when we were focused on a retarded war with the Russians. Unlike the 60's, we're actually doing basic science and planetary science missions now instead of chest thumping bravado.

Much of the science and tech of today's planetary missions are the result of military tech and those glory days of NASA manned missions. Those manned lunar missions were preceded by various robotic lunar missions.

The cold war greatly benefited the space program, it funded its tech. That chest thumping got the public behind all that spending on space. NASA and the US space program suffer today because of a lack of interest by the people. Fortunately the civilian commercial space industry seems to be coming along quite nicely.

We have to be quick about it. (2, Funny)

nospam007 (722110) | about 2 months ago | (#47489157)

Newt Gingrich isn't getting any younger, and that Moon-town needs a Mayor.

Re:We have to be quick about it. (0)

Virtucon (127420) | about 2 months ago | (#47489391)

Okay get your political avatars correct. Jerry Brown is governor Moonbeam [latimes.com] and he'd be much better suited for Mayor McCheese's position on the moon.

Re:We have to be quick about it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47489579)

yeah, but Gingrich has been dragging that moon-sized head around for so long he deserves something

Re: We have to be quick about it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47490589)

You must have missed the Gingrich propose Luna State meltdown in the last election.

Re:We have to be quick about it. (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 months ago | (#47489451)

How do wigs work in 1/6th gravity?

Re:We have to be quick about it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47489945)

The wigs aren't the important bit. It's the boobs, when all women can have Kryptonian super-powered cleavage. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_Girl

Fixed it for you (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 2 months ago | (#47489191)

...hich NASA says would be great spots for an astronaut habitat if we get back to the Moon. "A habitat placed in a p...

no wild day-night temperature swings... (2)

gb7djk (857694) | about 2 months ago | (#47489217)

Which is code for "extremely cold all the time".

Re:no wild day-night temperature swings... (3, Informative)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 2 months ago | (#47489843)

With no atmosphere, you could also say it's extremely well-insulated all the time.

Re:no wild day-night temperature swings... (1)

Hussman32 (751772) | about 2 months ago | (#47490115)

With no atmospheric shielding, heat transport via radiation energy is still very high. If the sun is shining on an object that doesn't have 100% reflectivity (or zero adsorption), it'll get hot.

Re:no wild day-night temperature swings... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47491543)

Except we're talking about Lunar Pits and Caves, where you can't see the sun.

Google Lunar X Prize (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47489241)

I attended a talk by Dr. Red Whittaker (from CMU) after robotic exploration of the moon. His team is going after the Google Lunar X Prize. They're planning on sending their robot down into a crater to peek into one of these caves.

Re:Google Lunar X Prize (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47490215)

For the first Rover launch, the intent is only to move forward 500 meters, with a video feed. Red has done some research into exploration of the Lunar craters, but first launch's goal is just to complete Lunar X objectives. (Posting as Anonymous coward due to spending a few hours each day in the Planetary Robotics Lab)

Forward into the past (4, Interesting)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | about 2 months ago | (#47489285)

Sounds like a cool idea to me, but it seems a bit like a cosmic joke that we would in a way be reverting to a past we had here on earth by living in caves. The symbolism is nice, though; starting over in a new environment.

Re: Forward into the past (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47489399)

"Forward into the Past"...Wasn't there a movie by that title?

Re: Forward into the past (2)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | about 2 months ago | (#47490563)

Not sure about a movie, but it IS a line from a Firesign Theatre piece. :-)

Re: Forward into the past (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47490913)

same AC here...I should have left a better clue...
movie...trilogy...marty...doc brown ...forgive my sleep-deprived attempts at humor.

Re:Forward into the past (4, Insightful)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about 2 months ago | (#47491007)

reverting to a past we had here on earth by living in caves

Ancient humans didn't "live in caves". Caves are just especially good as preserving signs of human activity. You'll note the decided lack of cave dwelling amongst remnant hunter gatherers in the modern world.

The only problem is... (3, Funny)

hedgemage (934558) | about 2 months ago | (#47489309)

Scientific films of yesteryear have informed us that any lunar caves are inhabited by insect men. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt00... [imdb.com]

Re:The only problem is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47489879)

Either that or they aren't really caves they just finally discovered the entrance to Dahak. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M... [wikipedia.org]

Plant Brainiacs, not Insect Men. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47491519)

There are no insect men in the caves of the moon. Instead there lives a super-intelligent plant being" [wikipedia.org] , who keeps an 80-something year old lost, and presumed dead, human astronaut/moon explorer as a pet and making him think that the plant-being is his god.

--
Thurgood.

No wild day-night temperature swings.... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47489323)

Yep. It'd be in shadow all the time which means it would be perpetually cold. 26 to 35 Kelvin cold.

That means to maintain the habitat, you'd have to have a perpetual power source. To me, that says you look at the poles with an eye towards building mirrors to reflect sunlight onto a heat collector. The poles are more likely to have a site that has both a pit and more or less full time sun. Unless of course, you want to ship a nuclear reactor to the moon in which case you'll need political will which is scarcer than perpetual sunlight.

Re:No wild day-night temperature swings.... (4, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | about 2 months ago | (#47489457)

Like, gosh, space for instance?

The ISS isn't exactly sitting there in a cosy blanket with a fire on... it's fighting against things just as cold.

Also, the amount of insulation you can carry is ENORMOUS (because most insulation is nothing more than pockets of gas trapped in a thin substrate, so think "expanding foam" instead of "brick"). Insulation means you don't care what it is outside - once the inside has been warmed once, you are only fighting the speed which heat leaks through the insulation. Anything decent and modern and we're talking minimal loss.

Otherwise, quite literally, you would die camping in the Antarctic with only clothes and a little tent to keep you warm.

Heat's not the problem, if you've already got the power, the infrastructure, the ability to move the materials, to shore up the place, build a structure, move into it, and live independently inside it.

Re:No wild day-night temperature swings.... (3, Insightful)

Gavagai80 (1275204) | about 2 months ago | (#47490041)

The ISS orbits the Earth every 90 minutes. The moon has a two week long night. Storing power through the latter is a much bigger issue.

Re:No wild day-night temperature swings.... (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 months ago | (#47490757)

Only on a small scale. On a large scale, perhaps a heat reservoir would be perfect.

Re:No wild day-night temperature swings.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47490463)

Actually, having a permanent cold source like that is a huge advantage, since the thermodynamic efficiency depends on the absolute temperature difference. So you'd need to spend less fuel to get the same energy/work out.

As for habitats, with sufficient insulation, humans generate more than enough body heat to keep it cozy. You'd probably even need airco to get rid of excess heat.

Re:No wild day-night temperature swings.... (2)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 2 months ago | (#47490521)

Yep. It'd be in shadow all the time which means it would be perpetually cold. 26 to 35 Kelvin cold.

Space doesn't work like that. Without air to transfer the heat away you're basically living in an environment with really thick insulation at all times and you actually need to find ways of transferring excess heat away, not generating more of it. If you jump out of a space station or space ship without any suit it's not the cold that kills you, it's the pressure. It would actually take a long, long time for you to even reach the point of hypothermia in space, let alone anything worse.

Re:No wild day-night temperature swings.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47490725)

Yep. It'd be in shadow all the time which means it would be perpetually cold. 26 to 35 Kelvin cold.

That means to maintain the habitat, you'd have to have a perpetual power source. To me, that says you look at the poles with an eye towards building mirrors to reflect sunlight onto a heat collector. The poles are more likely to have a site that has both a pit and more or less full time sun. Unless of course, you want to ship a nuclear reactor to the moon in which case you'll need political will which is scarcer than perpetual sunlight.

" scarcer than perpetual sunlight."
so political will is extremely abundant then? where?

the sun does not stop shining at night......

Glass half-empty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47489347)

If mankind ever does "get back to the Moon," the United States will be on the sidelines, boring the world with tales of greatness.

Re:Glass half-empty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47489503)

That's OK, other countries will find out the same things the US found out, that the Moon is a dead rock that's far away and spending billions for symbols is no way to run a country.

You're boring everyone with tales of sci-fi fantasies.

Re:Glass half-empty (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 months ago | (#47489825)

The next manned lunar landing will not be so much for scientific exploration there as much as to start laying the foundations for stepping further into space.

Re:Glass half-empty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47489837)

Hilarious. Where do you get this boundless, almost childish, enthusiasm from?

Re:Glass half-empty (2)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 months ago | (#47489983)

I only suggest it because to suggest otherwise, which is that humanity will stay here until we are destroyed, is to project that certain extinction-level events will definitely strike our species before we can ever try. I'm only making the assumption that humanity will continue to make progress in the coming decades and centuries... which is less a statement of enthusiasm and more of an inevitability, barring something else happening here which hasn't been foreseen wiping us all out first. The latter is certainly possible, but there's also no reason to conclude that it's particularly likely... except over a very prolonged period, during which time human civilization can continue to advance technologically. So the notion of thinking that we'll get off of this rock before we're wiped out should be seen as at least as probable.

Re:Glass half-empty (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47490019)

That is correct. Evolution is still happening. There were no humans here two million years ago and there won't be any in another two million years.

What's the big deal? You think our little oil-powered party has any meaning on geological and evolutionary time-scales?

Civilizations have collapsed before, who are you to say that the humans in a hundred years will have the same level of technology and cheap energy we have now? We very likely won't, and we won't even have anything like the Pyramids to show for it. Just some vague memories of stunts with big rockets.

And the fact that you use the key phrase "this rock" means you are a Space Nutter, and you have a religious fervor associated with space that has nothing to do with reality.

"This rock" IS the bounty and it's in space already.

Your precious "asteroid of doom" that your priests talk about would still leave the Earth a thousand times more hospitable than space.

Why not colonize the bottom of the ocean?

Re:Glass half-empty (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 months ago | (#47490065)

Civilizations have collapsed before, who are you to say that the humans in a hundred years will have the same level of technology and cheap energy we have now?

And who are you to say with any certainty that they won't be any better than they are now? I only suggest that it's at least as probable as not because in the timescales that are involved to make it genuinely unlikely, progress can still continue to happen.

Also, I'm not disputing that evolution is still happening, but I'd dare suggest that whatever kind of species that replaces us will still refer to themselves as human, and will refer to *US* as being some simpler life form.

Re:Glass half-empty (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47490123)

It's also possible that your grandchildren will need to know how to shoe a horse. That's far more probable.

You really need to learn more about human history and realize that this idea that everything "progresses" towards some "better" goal is a recent idea. As recent as coal and oil... See what I mean?

I think a far more likely future scenario will be simpler lives, less materialism, more hardship. Is that so hard to believe?

Space is a fantasy that won't die for the same reason religions won't die. It appeals to some basic human instincts and has a nice narrative.

http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the... [ucsd.edu]

I say that things won't be any better than they are now with the same certainty that we won't have faster than light spaceships.

I have the same certainty that we don't even have supersonic air travel anymore!

Could I be wrong? Maybe. But where would you place your bets?

Sci-fi fantasies? Or physical reality?

Re:Glass half-empty (0)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 months ago | (#47490229)

I'd place my bets on someday being advanced enough to leave this planet. To suggest otherwise is to say it would never happen, and considering the amount of time that we will have to accomplish it, I consider that alternative to be less realistic than any so-called "sci-fi fantasy".

You are in the no more glass camp. (0)

perpenso (1613749) | about 2 months ago | (#47490509)

That is correct. Evolution is still happening. There were no humans here two million years ago and there won't be any in another two million years. What's the big deal?

To continue with the glass is half full/empty metaphor, you ignore the fact that someday there will be no glass. More mass extinction level events will happen. And the big deal is that it would be a shame to lose the only known intelligent species capable of contemplating and studying the universe in such an event, and lose whatever species may have developed from this intelligent species.

Occupying more than one rock in the solar system greatly increases the species chance of survival. Plus the amount of resources available in asteroids and such dwarfs everything we have acquired from the earth.

The enormous expense involved in manned space flight and habitation is temporary. Yet that expense may well seem paltry if we can get past the bootstrapping phase. I have greater faith in the civilian commercial space industry in this regard than I do with government based projects.

Re:You are in the no more glass camp. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47491275)

The same logic applies to an individual, yet I'd be willing to wager you're against life extension.

And as for extinction-level events, life survived; we are here. Who are you to decide what life will survive on this planet millions or billions of years from now?

If you can answer that, the same answer applies to individual life extension.

Re:Glass half-empty (3, Insightful)

KeensMustard (655606) | about 2 months ago | (#47491261)

Except that it isn't. The moon is so close that none of the actual problems assoicated with human space travel even come into focus. And of course, it is not 'pushing further into space'. We've been to the edge of the solar system, we've visited comets, plunged into the icy atmosphere of Titan.

By us, of course I mean our machines, not physical humans - the distinction between abstracting 'our' presence via a machine or by the physical presence of a bunch of humans we've never met and are not related to us is purely arbitrary. What makes humans distinct from other creatures is that we can abstract our intent into machines that fulfill that intent: ploughs, swords, trains, coaches, treaties, man pages, computers, space probes. We are not limited by the limitations of our physical bodies.

To suggest that we, ill adapted to space as we are, ought to go physically into space instead of sending a machine is absurd - like saying that a field is only plowed if dug by hand, or the only correct calculation is done without the aid of a computer, calculator or abacus.

Huh? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47489373)

These are guesses, supposition, and speculation! No one has been up there recently to look into them and see if there are actually caves, or if they are just craters. Let us know when you've looked, OK?
.

NASA is spying on me (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 2 months ago | (#47489377)

This is exactly what I said a few weeks ago [slashdot.org] .

Re:NASA is spying on me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47489651)

Only you could come up with underground idea?

http://ufosightingshotspot.blo... [blogspot.ca]

Underground living idea is probably decades old. The difficulty comes with either finding a proper underground cave (difficult task, mapping said save is not easy), or building a cave with tunnel boring machine. Here the problem is getting such a machine there *and* a nuclear reactor to power it. Once you build the first few km of tunnel, the situation is self-sustaining as you have a habitable environment there already.

Getting an underground foothold is the difficult thing. First 100+ inhabitants is the key. Overhangs and such are great ideas, but without ability to dig and construct caves, like ants do, colonization of hostile places like Mars or the Moon does not make sense. Surface colony survival is out of the question.

Re:NASA is spying on me (1)

Hussman32 (751772) | about 2 months ago | (#47490143)

I saw a lecture in 1991 about the issues of living on the moon, and the underground habitat was a given. The issues that were showstoppers (among other things) were 1) water, 2) ability to manufacture concrete, 3) ability to safely do construction (power, tools, people moving things around in spacesuits). This talk was geared to a large scale habitat, something much bigger than the Mars One.

Re:NASA is spying on me (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 2 months ago | (#47490331)

Only you could come up with underground idea?

Of course not. I stole the idea from the Mole Men.

This whole idea is the pits. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47489387)

Yup.

Re:This whole idea is the pits. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47489835)

I can see some common pitfalls too.

Could House Astronauts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47489541)

I bet they don't find any astronauts housed there.

I've seen this before. (1)

NMBob (772954) | about 2 months ago | (#47489559)

The movie 2001? They land on the moon and descend into a pit.

As always, Clarke was first (2)

sphealey (2855) | about 2 months ago | (#47489581)

Time to re-read _A Fall of Moondust_

sPh

Re:As always, Clarke was first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47489901)

I'm pretty sure the idea of using caves for shelter has been around since cavemen used them.

Re:As always, Clarke was first (1)

Nethead (1563) | about 2 months ago | (#47490057)

I was thinking Gentlemen, Be Seated! [wikipedia.org]

What caves? (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 months ago | (#47489735)

I was unaware that there was any verification that caves even exist on the moon.

And considering the processes that form practically all natural caves here on earth (that I am aware of) involve moving water, or at least glacial movement, I'm not sure how anything like that would ever form on the moon.

... or volcanoes (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 months ago | (#47489749)

Darn... hit submit too soon. The instant I clicked it I realized I had neglected to mention caves formed by volcanic activity. I don't think the moon ever had that either, however.

Re:What caves? (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 2 months ago | (#47489829)

Courtesy of the US Forest Service:

http://www.fs.usda.gov/wps/por... [usda.gov]

Re:What caves? (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 months ago | (#47489889)

Yes... I noted lava-created caves as well in my followup comment, above. But the moon doesn't have volcanic activity, nor is there evidence that it ever did.

Re:What caves? (2)

tomhath (637240) | about 2 months ago | (#47489913)

FTFA:

Most pits were found either in large craters with impact melt ponds – areas of lava that formed from the heat of the impact and later solidified, or in the lunar maria – dark areas on the moon that are extensive solidified lava flows hundreds of miles across.

Re: What caves? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47490015)

A nice overview of lunar volcanism.

http://volcano.oregonstate.edu/oldroot/volcanoes/planet_volcano/lunar/Overview.html

Re:What caves? (2)

Gavagai80 (1275204) | about 2 months ago | (#47490051)

It's a known fact that the moon once had a lot of volcanic activity. Remaining volcanos are dormant, but lava tubes still exist.

Re:What caves? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47490113)

Dormant? They're dead as a dodo. The moon is an inert rock.

Re:What caves? (1)

Gavagai80 (1275204) | about 2 months ago | (#47491187)

Dormant doesn't have to mean something that will awake, but sure there's probably another word that's less open to misinterpretation. The moon isn't exactly an inert rock on the inside though, it still has magma: http://www.universetoday.com/9... [universetoday.com]

Re:What caves? (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 months ago | (#47490201)

Your "known fact" is missing citations.

Re:What caves? (1)

Gavagai80 (1275204) | about 2 months ago | (#47491175)

Odd that anyone hasn't heard since it's far from news, but "moon volcanoes" is easily googled for thousands of reference to extinct volcanoes known to be active until at least a billion years ago. Discussions of a couple of specific types of them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L... [wikipedia.org] and http://www.space.com/12419-moo... [space.com]

Why are we trying this now.. (1)

ZenMatrix (1299517) | about 2 months ago | (#47489751)

Video games and movies have been doing this for along time, either on the moon or an asteroids.

Lunar Pits (1)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | about 2 months ago | (#47490105)

The astronauts had better hope that there are no Lunar sarlaccs.

Astronaut versus Cave Man (1)

Al Al Cool J (234559) | about 2 months ago | (#47490137)

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

SF precedent (1)

maharvey (785540) | about 2 months ago | (#47490269)

Probably the first men in the moon [manybooks.net] will be McDonalds, for their new McMooncalf burger.

once we get back to the Moon.... (1, Interesting)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | about 2 months ago | (#47490281)

Um, no. We're not going to the moon or anywhere like it. The economy will likely collapse again before the end of the decade. There won't be the money or the resources. Sending robotic missions makes more sense. Sending people is a dumb idea. We evolved to live here. We are expensive to travel and hard to settle. Machines are constructed to do certain things in certain environments. They are more capable than humans in that regard. Send them to get fried by coronal mass ejections.

Re:once we get back to the Moon.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47490801)

im glad that better people than you do not share your cynicism

not possible b/c of moon dust and space suits (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47490579)

There's a little problem of moon dust. The tiny particles in moon dust are so sharp and jagged that they slice through space suits, filters, and glove seals. As far as I know, NASA was never able to solve this. You couldn't stay there for a prolonged period of time for any reason. If your space suit gets compromised, you're done.

Its about time! (1)

JustNiz (692889) | about 2 months ago | (#47490659)

>> it's time to send probes into a few of these pits to see what they're like

Great! Finally we will now discover all the moon-alien hives and secret Nazi UFO moonbases!

Wake up Nasa and others (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47491199)

If the world agencies capable of such impressive technological wielding of powers could stick to the problems on earth, we would rest easier at night knowing the energy we are consuming is renewable and the food we were eating was healthy.

Robinson Crusoe On Mar...The Moon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47491363)

Sounds like someone else just watched Robinson Crusoe on Mars [imdb.com] and had an idea.

In other news... (1)

Jason Goatcher (3498937) | about 2 months ago | (#47491443)

If we had unlimited fuel we could travel at near the speed of light through space.

Seriously, though, just because it hasn't been implemented yet doesn't make it news.

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