May 22, 2013

The past few years, the Moon Society has been hosting the Moon Track at the annual International Space Development Conference sponsored by the National Space Society. This years ISDC is being held in San Diego, CA May 23-27th over the Memorial Day Weekend.

This Track will be on Thursday May 23, 2013, Lunar Lava Tube Exploration and Analog Workshop “Lava Tubes Earth, Moon and Beyond”
The Challenges of Earth Lunar and Mars Lava Tube Exploration push existing capabilities and are worth doing, as JFK said, “not because they are easy but because they are hard.”

The presentations of this Lava Tube Workshop include discussions on:

  1. Planetary Science
  2. Planetary Protection and Cave Protection
  3. Astrobiology
  4. Engineering Architecture and Design
  5. Instrumentation and In situ Data Processing, Analysis and Artificial Intelligence
  6. Analog and Precursor Activities
  7. Terrestrial Research and Commercial On-Ramps
  8. Education and Public Outreach

[Information above provided by Track Co-ordinator David Dunlop]

We hope to make each of these presentations available on the internet after the conference

To help set the mood, MMM Editor, Peter Kokh, who could not make it to this year's event, contributed a Lava Tube Exhibit for the Moon Society's Exhibit table.

The interior of this winding lava tube section can be viewed from both right and left ends, and via a cutaway of an elbow bend from the front.

Modeled inside are a "town settlement for 500 people" and a tower structure poking through a skylight opening, as well as some warehousing. The interior is lit by a string of battery powered LED lights inside a clear plastic tube slung from the tube ceiling. The tube itself is carved into 11 layers of 3/4" insulation foam board.

The background image has two parts: above is a scene from the Apollo 17 mission as the astronauts were preparing to leave the Moon for the last time: "the end of the beginning." The lower half of the background image looks into two terrestrial lavatubes. The message is not to judge the Moon by its surface: there is abundant sheltered volume below!

Text alongside the background image talks about lava tubes on the Moon: how they were formed and where we will find them, etc.

Text on the "apron" in front of the exhibit, explains what the viewer is looking at inside.

The open green box toward the back of the right hand side is the LED control panel.

Instructions to replicate the exhibit are available on request from Peter Kokh.

After ISDC, the lightweight 15 lb, 24"x36"x9" exhibit will go to Dallas for the upcoming annual Moon Day event.