Research Highlights

Moon site safe for humans

doi:10.1038/nindia.2011.32 Published online 28 February 2011

Space scientists have identified a region of the moon that can be used for human habitation during future human missions and scientific explorations. The region, in the Oceanus Procellarum area of the Moon, has been found to be safe with no hazardous radiations, micro-meteoritic impacts, extreme temperatures of dust storms.

The researchers studied pictures taken by the Terrain Mapping Camera (TMC) of India's maiden lunar spacecraft Chandrayaan-1 and found a buried, uncollapsed and near horizontal lava tube in the Oceanus Procellarum area of the Moon.

They generated a digital elevation model to view it in three-dimension. A couple of rilles were found to be connected under the surface by an undamaged lava tube, indicating that the roof of this section of the tube had remained intact since its formation.

The morphometry, topography, surface composition and surface ages of the surrounding regions of the lava tube were analysed thoroughly to declare it safe for future human habitations during scientific explorations.


References

  1. Arya, A. S. et al. Detection of potential site for future human habitability on the Moon using Chandrayaan-1 data. Curr. Sci. India 100, 524-529 (2011)