A bridge discovered on the Lunar surface holds promise for a Lunar expedition and possibly habitation on the moon, or rather in it. The bridge discovered by NASA suggests there may be even more about the moon than we thought. And it carries with it promise for an incredible expedition and even a permanent installation on the Moon.
The bridge may not seem like much more than a Lunar anomaly to most, but the real question is how was it formed? Generally since land bridges are nothing more than a combination of high winds and sediment settling through erosion, they are fairly common on Earth where both are present in abundance. But what about the moon where neither wind nor erosion due to precipitation are present? Scientists at NASA have decided the answer must lie in an alternative – magma tubes.
The images were taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) as it surveyed the Lunar surface in search of features exactly like this land bridge that may spell promise for future missions. Previously the LRO had already confirmed the idea that magma tubes interlace the moon, suggesting there may be more to our oldest satellite than meets the eye. With the moon filled with tunnels, it seems there’s more space for lunar real estate than had ever been previously expected.
And tunnels beneath the surface could provide structures colonists or explorers could pressurize and use for human habitation both as living space and protection against solar flares. A colony beneath the moon’s surface could cut costs of Lunar expeditions by several factors. And the natural tubes would provide far stronger shelters than the previously proposed “inflatable” houses that would have previously dotted the Lunar surface.
Why colonize the moon? Aside from the wealth of natural resources, research potential, and space concerns, there is a drive that the human race has always exhibited to reach for the unattainable and explore new worlds. A Lunar colony could be the next generation’s manifestation of this drive. And with a far lower gravity than Earth, the fuel accelerant rich Moon could be a launching point for several missions to other planets, including Mars.
But there’s another question that comes up when examining the prospect of massive tunnels underneath the Moon’s surface. Could something else be down there already? Some have pointed to the tunnels as the perfect place for an alien civilization to launch operations studying and influencing Earth. Is it possible an expedition to the moon’s lava tubes could unearth far more than they could have ever expected? What if they truly are filled with a massive underground base complete with structures that have been there for years?
Still, even without the potential for more sensational discoveries the moon’s lava tubes are an excellent point of exploration for future missions (be they manned or simply robotic probes).
It seems NASA will have its work cut out for it on this mission, but the potential wealth of information and benefit is endless.