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posted by martyb on Friday October 20 2017, @03:09AM   Printer-friendly
from the nascent-underground-economy dept.

Following up on a report from 2011, comes confirmation that, instead of a base on the moon, a better idea might be a base inside the moon:

"Japan's space agency said it had discovered an enormous cave beneath the lunar surface that could be turned into an exploration base for astronauts."

"The chasm, 50km (31 miles) long and 100 metres wide, appears to be structurally sound and its rocks may contain ice or water deposits that could be turned into fuel, according to data sent back by the orbiter, nicknamed Kaguya after the moon princess in a Japanese fairytale."

According to a science news article by UPI (United Press International):

In a new study published this week in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, scientists confirmed the presence of a large lava tube among the Marius Hills, a series of lunar lava domes.

The open lava tube could serve like a giant bunker, providing shelter from the harsh conditions on the moon's surface. In their study, scientists argue lava tubes offer ideal protection from extreme temperature swings, radiation and meteorite impacts.

Lava tubes form when the outer edges of a lava flow harden into crust and the remaining lava drains away, leaving an empty cylinder.

"It's important to know where and how big lunar lava tubes are if we're ever going to construct a lunar base," Junichi Haruyama, a senior researcher at JAXA, Japan's space agency, said in a news release. "But knowing these things is also important for basic science. We might get new types of rock samples, heat flow data and lunar quake observation data."

Scientists have known about the Marius Hills Skylight, the opening to the newly discovered lava tube. But until now, they weren't sure what the entrance led to.

When JAXA's SELENE spacecraft bounced radar off the area, the data revealed an echo-like signature suggesting the waves were bouncing back off the floor and ceiling of a tube-like structure. Gravity data from NASA's GRAIL mission also revealed an absence of mass beneath the surface surrounding the Marius Hills Skylight.

The combination of the two datasets helped scientists get a better idea of how deep and far the cavity stretched beneath the lunar surface.

"Our group at Purdue used the gravity data over that area to infer that the opening was part of a larger system," said Jay Melosh, a researcher on the GRAIL mission and a professor of planetary science at Purdue. "By using this complimentary technique of radar, they were able to figure out how deep and high the cavities are."

Original Submission #1Original Submission #2

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by realDonaldTrump on Friday October 20 2017, @11:50AM (3 children)

    by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Friday October 20 2017, @11:50AM (#585182) Homepage Journal

    Running Biosphere 2 is a very tough job, very tough financially and in many ways. It's a lot, a lot like reality TV. And Steve Bannon did OK as its CEO. Not brilliant but OK. He kept it in business.

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by takyon on Friday October 20 2017, @12:06PM (1 child)

    by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Friday October 20 2017, @12:06PM (#585188) Journal

    Wow, 2 real for me. []

    Bannon, possibly indirectly responsible for Jack Black's career.

    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 []
    • (Score: 2, Funny) by realDonaldTrump on Friday October 20 2017, @01:18PM

      by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Friday October 20 2017, @01:18PM (#585209) Homepage Journal

      I'll tell you, Stephen Miller is a great guy. A very smart Jewish guy. He does good work for me. I like Pauly, but his imitation of Stephen is really mean-spirited and not very good. What kind of person makes fun of a man's hairline? That's just mean. They call it Funny or Die. Let me tell you, it's not funny at all. I don't think that his imitation of Stephen gets Stephen at all, and it's meant to be very mean-spirited which is very biased and I don't like it so I can tweet that out.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by tangomargarine on Friday October 20 2017, @04:33PM

    by tangomargarine (667) on Friday October 20 2017, @04:33PM (#585291)

    Wait, this is actually a thing? Huh. Yes, Bannon really was involved with Biosphere 2. Apparently he got along so badly with the scientists they sabotaged the experiment. []

    "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"