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posted by martyb on Thursday September 28 2017, @05:20PM   Printer-friendly
from the may-be-safer-but-not-much-of-a-view dept.

Between the lack of air and the constant bombardment of radiation and micrometeorites, humans will need some serious shelter before we can feel at home on the Moon or Mars. While inflating or 3D printing our houses could be one way to pack light for the long trip, the most efficient method might just be to move into the natural shelter that's already there. Now astronomers have systematically analyzed possible lava tubes on the Moon and Mars, and found they may be just what Red Planet realtors are looking for.

Living underground is the easiest way to escape the harsh conditions of the lunar or Martian surface, and scientists have already found a few candidates. NASA has found hundreds of deep pits in the pock-marked rock of the Moon that could make good hidey-holes from the elements, and there's evidence of sprawling networks of lava tubes below the surface.

Don't they realize this has been proven to be a bad idea?


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 28 2017, @07:07PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 28 2017, @07:07PM (#574492)

    Besides the fact their health suffers, it should be noted that months are neither years nor lifetimes.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by takyon on Thursday September 28 2017, @08:26PM (1 child)

    by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Thursday September 28 2017, @08:26PM (#574517) Journal

    Martian/lunar gravity is just a completely different category than microgravity. The disadvantages related to blood flow shouldn't appear on the Moon because at least your blood will be pulled down properly.

    The Moon is close enough that it should be possible to study the health effects of lunar gravity without needing to abandon astronauts due to cost and time. If someone has serious health issues, you can get them to an Earth hospital much sooner than you could from Mars.

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    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 29 2017, @06:57AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 29 2017, @06:57AM (#574703)

      The disadvantages related to blood flow shouldn't appear on the Moon because at least your blood will be pulled down properly.

      Properly? What makes you so sure? Any actual scientific research backing up your claims? Probably not. That's my point. Why spend billions on that when you can do stuff the proper scientific way?

      The Moon is close enough that it should be possible to study the health effects of lunar gravity

      Low earth orbit is much closer. You can study the health effects of lunar gravity in low earth orbit with a suitable space station. Can do the initial studies on mice with stuff like the ISS's cancelled centrifuge module, then follow up with large studies using tethers and counterweights.

      There's really little advantage to building a station on the Moon at this point. A Moon station will need most of the space station stuff anyway (shielding, pressurization etc). So it's cheaper to put such a space station in LEO to figure the gravity stuff out first before investing in the Moon stuff. Getting people back from the Moon's gravity well is more difficult and expensive than getting people back from a space station.