Audioburst Search

Lava Tubes Could Aid Humans Life on the Moon and Mars


Today's episode is brought to you by the Capital, One card with Capital, One saver card. You can earn four percent cashback on dining and entertainment. That means four percent on checking out that new French restaurant and four percent on bowling with your friends. You'll also earn two percent cashback at grocery stores, and one percent on all other purchases. Now, when you go out you cash in Capital, One, what's in your wallet terms apply? Welcome to brainstorm a production of iheartradio. Hey brain stuff, learn vocal Bon here ever since Neil Armstrong. I set foot on the moon. Scientists have been toying with the idea of forming potential colonies, there and more recently on Mars to, but extreme fluctuating temperatures cosmic radiation, and micrometeorites showers colloquially known as space dust pose challenges to human excavation of both the moon and Mars, however, Astro biologists are in the process of exploring nifty geological structures the conservative natural shelter from these harsh elements lava tubes. So what are lava tubes? We spoke by Email with doctor Ricardo puzzle Abban of the department of geosciences at the university of pet ova. He's been at the forefront of European research on lava tubes. He explained lava tubes are caves that are carved by flowing lava, that eventually drained out leaving a subsurface void, although there are different types of lava tube formations, these caves often form out of a type of fluid basaltic lava that flows down a slope, like. The side of a volcano as the outermost portion of the hot lava flow comes in contact with the cold air, it cools rapidly forming a hardened crest, but liquid lava continues to flow like water in channel underneath this newly hardened surface. At some point that liquid lava runs out, and cools underneath the surface forming a curvy tube shaped structure, and thus Alava tube is born geologist. No lava tubes from volcanic areas in Hawaii, or Iceland, but they've also become a hot, commodity within the Astro biology community due to high resolution images, indicating that lava tubes may exist on the moon and Mars as well. Many sites thought to be lava tubes are detected by the presence of these curvy channels and more recently, the SETI institute announced the discovery of possible skylights or lava tube openings in a crater near the North Pole of moon using images obtained from Nasr's lunar reconnaissance orbiter, but lava tubes are tricky business. Scientific technology is still playing catch up and identifying these underground habitats, we also. Spoke by Email with Leonardo career of the remote sensing laboratory at the university of Trento. He said the main difficulty comes from the fact that lava tubes are centrally subsurface structures. Very few instruments are capable of performing direct measurements of underground structures. But careers team is working to modernize the technology and bus aid future human settlement of these lunar caves the technology involves using radar, which can detect lava tubes from orbit based on their unique electromagnetic signatures, basically, they can pro below the surface of the moon using low frequency electromagnetic waves, and then measure the reflected waves that come back to them. Those reflections offer insight into a lava tubes characteristics, like its shape size and composition. But one thing is clear lava tubes on the moon and Mars are invaluable is natural potential habitats, or at the very least could serve as convenient storage units between space missions. Meanwhile, back on earth, scientists are preparing for future missions to the moon and Mars through a little cave, diving the European Space Agency, developed a program called Penn Jia. The prepares European astronauts to explore other planets one of its projects concerns, a lava tube in Spain called corona that's eight kilometers long, or about five miles the team has undertaken advanced mapping of the tube to create three D model. That's attract down to the millimetre. They've also been testing out new robots or Rovers to identify how best to navigate these tubes. Developing a greater understanding of the challenges associated with incursions into lava tubes on other planets in the process. Other researchers have also taken an interest in exploring the microbiology of lava tubes by focusing their efforts on the lava beds, national monument in California, this project funded by the Canadian space agency is looking to explore lava tubes habitats of biker organisms, which may leave traces behind through certain minerals, and thus indicate the presence of life once upon a time, which is cool enough. On earth, but would be an amazing find on the moon or Mars. So what's the difference between lava tubes on earth in their lunar, and Martian counterparts? Well, gravity for one, the lower gravity on the moon and Mars seems to impact the size of lava tubes, significantly tubes on Mars can stretch for two hundred and fifty meters in width, or about eight hundred and twenty feet and tubes on the moon can reach a whopping Colombia, or more across that's about two thirds of a mile, the lower gravity. Also stabilizes, the roofs of these tubes and causes fewer collapses, especially on the moon, thereby creating a potentially safer dwelling for human habitation, but otherwise lava tubes on earth are fairly similar in composition and structure to those on the moon and Mars and serve as excellent reference points for researchers. The potential for lunar caves, and possible human settlements has many people excited even the White House is making a bid for moon colonies in the near future, and the possibility of answering whether life has existed or may still flourish in caves on Mars is a tantalizing one for space explorers. But if you're wondering whether or not martians will be found hanging around these lava tubes on the red planet, the answer is likely no, unless you count microbial critters radiation, a dry environment and frigid temperatures make the planet inhospitable to most forms of life while using ground Rovers to access lava tubes on the moon and Mars could be difficult due to surface conditions other devices are being developed to aid these explorations including climbing, and hopping pit bots and flying helicopter, like vehicles likes of which may appear Nasr's Mars twenty twenty Rover mission. Today's episode was written by Terry llegado and produced by Tyler claim brain stuff is a production of iheartradio's, how stuff works for more on this, and lots of other totally tubular topics. Visit our home planet. How stuff works dot com and for more podcast for my heart radio. Visit the iheartradio app, apple podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite shows. Today's episode is brought to you by the Capital One saver card earn four percent cashback on dining and entertainment. Two percent at grocery stores and one percent on all other purchases. Now when you go out you cash in what's in your wallet terms apply.

Coming up next