Sergei Krikalyov, head of Russia’s Star City cosmonaut training centre outside Moscow, has said that the discovery of caves left by the moon’s volcanic past could provide cover for a potential moon base.
“This new discovery that the moon may be a rather porous body could significantly alter our approach to founding lunar bases,” said veteran spaceman on Tuesday (from Reuters reports).
“If it turns out that the moon has a number of caves that can provide some protection from radiation and meteor showers, it could be an even more interesting destination than previously thought.”
The discovery of the caves in 2008 by a Japanese spacecraft has lead to much speculation about what could be underneath the surface. It’s believed there are a huge network of caves left by volcanic activity.
The caves are so important because they could provide shelter from the temperature extremes of the surface, which vary between 100 degrees Celsius during the day to -150 degrees Celsius at night. Under the surface the temperature remains relatively constant, around -30 to -40 Celius.
Krikalyov said that the may also be able to dig lunar soil to build walls, and that an inflatable module could be built to seal the caves. Russia hopes that it might be able to build such a colony by 2030.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.