With help from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, NASA has discovered several pits and caves beneath the surface of the moon that could someday provide shelter for astronauts.
Most likely created by ancient lava streams, the pits found on the moon total more than 200 and “range in size from about 5 meters in diameter to more than 900 meters.” NASA plans to send probes to the moon that will descend into and explore the insides of these pits and caves.
Robert Wagner of Arizona State University states, “Pits would be useful in a support role for human activity on the lunar surface. A habitat placed in a pit — ideally several dozen meters back under an overhang — would provide a very safe location for astronauts: no radiation, no micrometeorites, possibly very little dust, and no wild day-night temperature swings.”
As the contents and features of the moon continue to surprise scientists, let’s just hope the ultimate surprise won’t include rousing parasitic lunar critters bent on eyeing snoozing astronauts as prey.
Information via NASA