BEIJING, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) — According tomedia reports, planetary scientists have pointed out that the lava tubes beneath the surface of the moon and Mars are large enough to accommodate future space exploration sites. Researchers at the University of Bologna and Padua in Italy have analyzed underground caves that formed billions of years ago on Mars and the moon that shield cosmic radiation and are up to 1,000 times the size of Earth.
An artistic rendering of the inside of a lava tube on the moon. These lava tubes can shield cosmic rays and can be up to 1,000 times larger than Earth’s lava tubes.
The team also measured similar lava tubes on Earth to estimate the volume of lava tubes beneath the surface of other planets. The largest lava tube ever discovered is located on the moon, with a diameter of 304.8 meters and a length of more than 40 kilometers, large enough to accommodate a small-town space base.
Using multiple interplanetary probes, the team estimated the size and size of lava tubes on the moon and Mars.
The lava tubes on the moon are larger than on Earth because the moon’s gravity is much weaker and has a much smaller impact on the early formation of the moon and the lava flowing in it. Lava tubes can be found on Earth, but high-definition images taken by the interplanetary probe show that such structures also exist below the surface of the moon and Mars, and signs of the presence of lava tubes are often inferred by observing linear cavity structures and twisted collapse chains formed by extrusions.
The moon and lava tubes on Mars are similar in shape to those on Earth, especially in Hawaii, the Canary Islands and Australia. Scientists have done a lot of research on lava tubes on Earth and used them to estimate the size, shape and size of lava tubes on other planets.
Using digital topographic models, the researchers measured and collected data on the size and morphological data of collapsed chains (i.e. collapsed lava tubes) on the moon and Mars. The data were measured through satellite imagery and laser altimeters carried by multiple interplanetary detectors. The data were then compared with topographical data similar to the chain of collapse on Earth, as well as laser scans inside lava tubes in Lanzarote and Galapagos. These data help further determine the relationship between the collapse chain and the complete underground cave.
Pictured is how different lava tubes are formed on Earth, the moon and Mars.
The researchers found that lava tubes on Mars and the moon are 100 and 1,000 times wider than the upper lava tubes on Earth, respectively. The moon’s low gravity on Mars, and the effects of low gravity on early volcanic activity, may explain why their lava tubes are so much larger than Earth’s. Such a wide lava tube can be more than 40 kilometers underground on the moon, making it ideal for underground exploration and settlement.
These lava tubes are open and stable, provide good protection for people, and are enough to accommodate an entire town. Most importantly, although the moon’s lava tubes are large, the top structure is still fairly stable due to the moon’s weak gravitational pull. This means that most of the lava tubes beneath the plains are intact. Observations in the Marius hills suggest that the chain of collapse observed may have been caused by an asteroid crashing through the wall of a lava pipe. We may be able to get into these huge underground caves. These lava tubes also provide a stable shield against cosmic rays and solar radiation, as well as micrometeorite impacts common on the planet’s surface.
Using a variety of techniques, including 3D modeling, the researchers tracked the trajectory of lava tubes on other celestial bodies.
The authors found that lava tubes on the moon can be as wide as 30 meters and 40 kilometers long.
Across the globe, people are using their creativity to try to devise ways to help humans “colonize” other planets safely, but they face challenges. These methods can be varied, including 3D printing technology to make moon loal seofs into available materials, as well as beehive-like structures to withstand meteorites and radiation. The biggest benefit of the lava tube is that it saves the need to build, and it may provide us with a less temperature difference around the clock.
Space xEs are now interested in caves and lava tubes on the planets, as they may help us take the first step toward future lunar exploration. The researchers also point out that the study opens up a whole new perspective for planetary exploration, focusing on the beneath the surface of Mars and the moon.
Since 2012, ESA has carried out two astronaut training projects in cooperation with a number of European universities, including the Universities of Bologna and Padua, focusing on the exploration of underground systems and planetary geology. Training sites include lava tubes on Lanzarote. A total of 36 astronauts from five space stations were trained to walk in caves. (Leaf)