S88-33646 (April 1988)--- This painting was used as a visual at an April 1988 Houston-hosted conference titled "Lunar Bases and Space Strategies of the 21st Century." Here, a surface exploration crew begins its investigation of a typical, small lava tunnel, to determine if it could serve as a natural shelter for the habitation modules of a Lunar Base. One member of the expedition is standing on the lip of the rille near the point where the original tunnel disgorged its lava into an open channel. The two crew members in the foreground are standing in the lava channel. As indicated by the lack of meteorite erosion and debris burial, a section of the original tunnel's roof collapses sometime in the relatively recent past, perhaps due to the impact which formed the l5-meter diameter crater behind the crew member at the rille's edge. The collapse of this section of the tunnel roof exposed the layering in the volcanic rocks and displaced the mouth of the tunnel some 50 meters upstream of its original position. The painting is by John Lowery of Eagle Engineering and was done on subcontract to, and under the technical and scientific direction of Lockheed Engineering and Management Services Company.
The work was sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Johnson Space Center. Note: NASA currently has no formal plans for a human expedition to Mars or the Moon. This image and others displayed may not reflect the hardware and overall concept of possible visits to either of those celestial bodies. However, the art work represented here serves as a comprehensive study of various concepts and ideas developed as possibilities over a period of years. The renderings were accomplished by NASA and/or NASA-commissioned artists.