ESA Plans Mission to Explore Lunar Caves

Three images of the Marius Hills pit imaged by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. This pit is about 34 metres deep and 65 by 90 metres wide. Marius Hills and other pits may be ‘skylights’ into extensive lava tubes. (Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University)

PARIS (ESA PR) — In a first step towards uncovering the Moon’s subterranean secrets, in 2019 we asked for your ideas to detect, map and explore lunar caves. Five ideas were selected to be studied in more detail, each addressing different phases of a potential mission.

(more…)

Will Astronauts Follow in the Footsteps of Caveman Ancestors?

Le Moustier Neanderthals (Charles R. Knight, 1920)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

As their name implies, cavemen and their families lived in caves to protect themselves from the dangers of weather, wild animals and alien monoliths that might suddenly appear on the savannah.

As humanity prepares to take its next evolutionary step — the permanent settlement of the moon and Mars — it looks like it will be heading back to the caves. Or, more accurately, lava tubes that will protect astronauts from dangers of radiation and solar storms.

Ah oui. Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose….

(more…)