Lava tubes on Mars and Moon could make ideal bases

Brian G Turner

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Old lava tubes on Mars and the Moon are so large they might be ideal for bases:
 

.matthew.

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And yet whenever people talk of bases they imagine giant unprotected glass domes on the surface :)
 

Serendipity

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Lava tubes for the stage one settlers is a good move on Mars. Stage two settlers will live in air-filled canyons without the see-through dome structures.
 

Starbeast

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Quote:

"Researchers found that Martian and lunar tubes are respectively 100 and 1,000 times wider than those on Earth, which typically have a diameter of 10 to 30 meters. Lower gravity and its effect on volcanism explain these outstanding dimensions (with total volumes exceeding 1 billion of cubic meters on the Moon)."


Those Martian lava tubes are amazing looking. I remember the photos from back in the 1990's

1597154127352.png



1597154406465.png
 

JimC

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Heinlein's 'The Menace from Earth' used them as a plot device in 1957.
 

Robert Zwilling

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I think the most important reason for using the lava tubes is that the surface dust is toxic and incredibly abrasive. People would already be tunneling underground for a place to live and work that is surface dust free. The air locks and isolation rooms to strip the dust off of people working out on the surface would take up a lot of the room in any original surface structures. The size of the original structures would be limited by what could be carried up there in the first ships. It would be far easier to build light weight living shelters in preexisting tunnels than to build radiation, thermal, and impact resistant living and working quarters on the surface.

Elon Musk wants to build a thousand space ships to move a work force to Mars. Building the ships, the infrastructure, and they would probably be launched from space not from Earth, requiring more support infrastructure, all that is going to take a long time. Before that happens people will be going to Mars and will need a place to stay. An orbiting hotel looks good in the stories, and would fit the needs, but I don't think we will be seeing huge orbiting hotels orbiting Mars anytime soon.
 

Brian G Turner

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Old lava tubes on Mars and the Moon are so large they might be ideal for bases:

This could especially be necessary for protection against radiation:

 

.matthew.

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We've known enough about stellar radiation to know this for ages. The whole giant dome designs have pretty much only come from sci-fi because it looks cooler than just having a big door in the ground.
 
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