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Old February 1 2013, 06:01 PM   #15
Location: New York City
Oceanus Procellarum area cave

I wonder which country will be seriously considering this new location for a base in or nearby?

Back in 2009, the Japanese Space Agency JAXA announced moon hole deep enough to contain a small human base. Now, the Indian Space Research Organization has discovered a "giant underground chamber" near the Moon's equator, in the Oceanus Procellarum area.
The huge cave— discovered by the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft—is more than one mile long (1.7 kilometers) and 393 feet wide (120 meters). By comparison, the vertical hole that Jaxa discovered was only 213 feet (65 meters across) and 289 feet deep (88 meters).
Obviously both locations must be explored with robots and LIDAR before any construction begins.
LiDAR like this.
LiDAR technology offers one of the most accurate, expedient and cost-effective ways to capture elevation information. LiDAR data is directly processed to produce detailed bare earth models in a variety of formats
LiDAR point clouds can be used to derive a wide variety of geospatial deliverables including:

Intensity images
Digital Terrian Models
Digital Elevation Models
Digital Surface Models
3-D models
They could generate a 3-D model of the interior cave in a 1/10th scale with 3-D printers.
With a rover with LIDAR & digital cameras they could have this 3-D data and color photos of the entire interior of this cave.

Downward-looking LIDAR instruments fitted to aircraft and satellites are used for surveying and mapping – a recent example being the NASA Experimental Advanced Research Lidar.[3] In addition LIDAR has been identified by NASA as a key technology for enabling autonomous precision safe landing of future robotic and crewed lunar landing vehicles.
From Wikipedia.
This is how robots would land on the moon anyway.
The LIDAR could be put onto rover vehicles for closeup mapping of insid a cave chamber.

Other benefits of using a large cave:
future human base. The settlement would be protected from radiation, micro-meteor impacts, dust and extreme temperature changes by the lava structure:
Lava provides a natural environmental control with a nearly constant temperature of minus 20 degrees Celsius (-4 degrees Fahrenheit), unlike that of the lunar surface showing extreme variation, maximum of 130 degrees Celsius (266 degrees Fahrenheit) to a minimum of minus 180 degrees Celsius (-292 degrees Fahrenheit) in its diurnal (day-night) cycle.

A cave surely sounds like the way to go but it would take many months or years to build it out to be habitable with life support pods.

Last edited by jefferiestubes8; February 1 2013 at 06:13 PM.
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