UFO UpDates
A mailing list for the study of UFO-related phenomena
'Its All Here In Black & White'
Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2011 > Jul > Jul 15

Planetary Cave Dwelling

From: Kathy Kasten <catraja.nul>
Date: Fri, 15 Jul 2011 18:18:04 +0000
Archived: Fri, 15 Jul 2011 20:32:53 -0400
Subject: Planetary Cave Dwelling

The Planetary Report; Volume 31; Number 3

June Solstice 2011: wwwplanetary.org

Page 11-15;

Planetary Cave Dwelling; A Strategy for Exploration

by Jacques Blamont
Professor Emeritius
University of Paris

[Begin Citation]

Missions to Mars with humans aboard will face several
challenging requirements for sheltering their crews. First is
the radiation in the natural environment, a combination of
galactic cosmic rays, solar particle events, and secondary
radiation from the interaction of both of these with atmosphere
and soil. Radiation would rise to peak levels during large solar
eruptions, which occur one to three times per 11-year solar


Using caves as habitats provides an intriguing possibility: the
total dose (of radiation) equivalent for the same mission in a
cave habitat would be 0.212 mSv (as opposed to the 540-day dose
of 14,795 millisieverts, or mSv). Caves two or three meters
below the surface can provide effective shielding, although a
more conservative five-meter depth would give greater assurance
of protection. (To date, no cost efficient shielding system has
been engineered for Mars missions.)


Caves also protect against temperature extremes at the Martian
surface and make it easier to manage air filtration. Apollo
missions showed that lunar dust is a health risk, triggering
inflammatory lesions in lungs. Martian dust is even riskier
because of oxidants. In caves, keeping the dust out is simply a
problem that good engineering at the entrances could solve.
Shielded from dust storms, structures and equipment would
require less maintenance.


Caves Near Volcanoes

Mars has a ready supply of potentially habitable caves in the
form of lava tubes. A lava tube results from a low-viscosity
(fast-running) stream of lava cooling and solidifying on the
outside while continuing to flow on the inside. When the last of
the lava runs out, an empty cylinder remains, with smooth
surfaces on the floor, walls and ceiling.


Underground lava tubes become accessible when a section of the
roof collapses, creating a pit, or skylight, and exposing two
cave openings. After a skylight opens, other parts of the lava
tube can remain geologically stable, surviving intact for
millions of years. Guidelines for selecting stable and otherwise
suitable caves will have to be developed, drawing on research of
analog sites on Earth and the Moon.


One limitation of lava tubes is their obligatory presence in
volcanic terrains. The best sites for a Mars base will be at the
lowest possible altitude and the highest possible latitude, with
the hope of finding subterranean ice. Syrtis Mons, Nili Fossae,
and Mawrth Vallis are regions that could contain lava tubes and
offer scientific interest. Many lava tubes also will be found in
the lava beds around Alba Patera and in the volcanic regions
apart from Tharsis shield, such as Elysium.

Several pit craters that may be skylights already have been
identified on Mars. In 2007, Glen Cushing of the U.S. Geological
Survey and colleagues compared images from the HiRISE camera
aboard Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter with images from the THEMIS
thermal mapper aboard Mars Odyssey and reported seven possible
lava tubes on the slopes of Arisia Mons. The craters range in
diameter from 100 to 225 meters. Another hole was found in 2010
on Pavonis Mons. On Earth's Moon, the Japanese SELENE imager
discovered holes indicating the presence of underground lava

[End of citation]

The rest of the article discusses the material requirements for
plants and humans, and how those needs could be met. Very
exciting concepts are being developed for providing for
astronauts to be able to live on other planets.


Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast



These contents above are copyright of the author and
UFO UpDates - Toronto. They may not be reproduced
without the express permission of both parties and
are intended for educational use only.

[ Next Message | Previous Message | This Day's Messages ]
This Month's Index |

UFO UpDates Main Index

UFO UpDates - Toronto - Operated by Errol Bruce-Knapp

Archive programming by Glenn Campbell at Glenn-Campbell.com