Found this retro article in Popular Mechanics regarding a soviet idea for a self burying lunar base. In light of my thoughts in the last post, both are very practical ideas, however something tells me that it’s easier/faster/cheaper to bury something, rather then trying to make a lava tube airtight. Nonetheless, it’s definitely worth the read.
On the subject of rocket engines and soviet ingenuity, I must also link this article about how they basically lit the motors with big matchsticks 😀
China has plans for the moon, PM also writes “Shelved more than 40 years ago, the Soviet LK lander could help build the space boat that ferries China’s astronauts to the Moon.” Interesting note about the soviet lander would have been a tad safer with its somewhat superior engine solution that could tolerate failure. Also is interesting how these designs and ideas are still relevant today.
Not sure if this is a true lava tube, looks more like a big hole. I imagine further radar mapping will find more lava tube systems. However, the concept is sound and it’s a practically ready made outpost. Robotic preparation to seal the cave with some form of lunar shotcrete (a form of spray on concrete), add a door and kinda simple in theory..
Update: Here is a new link with a hi-res picture of the cave/pit.
Interesting idea, inflatable habitats are proven technology. Hope they find the funding, but all in all a sound idea for the makings of a lunar outpost.
This has been making the rounds today, volcanic activity spewing out an atmosphere on the moon during its early formation. The article mentions a hot, mostly molten surface. I wonder what the mining opportunities would be like, having so much fresh material being deposited on the surface. Also, lots of thermal energy available for power, etc. ( I think there was an Outer Limits episode about a lone genetically modified miner at a lonely outpost..)