As promising as lunar lavatubes are for the future of lunar settlements, in the early days of the frontier, it is more likely that the main settlement complex will be on the surface, covered with a regolith blanket, and that a nearby lavatube will be used for area-hungry unpressurized applications such as warehousing and storage, tank farms, and even industrial parks. Sealing and pressurizing a cave is a daunting task that may not be attempted for some time.
According to Gary Mitchell, Director of the NSCORT (NASA Specialized Center of Research and Training) program at Purdue University, with team affiliates at Howard and Alabama A&M University, the program launched in 2002 with a 5 year, $10 million commitment from NASA, has now been shut down early because of pressures on the overall NASA budget.
The View from Sun-Earth L5
NASA’s new twin STEREO solar observatories launched October 25th, 2006, if successfully deployed in separate orbits ahead and behind Earth in its orbit about the Sun, will give us our first 3D look at Sunspots and the powerful solar flares and the coronal mass ejections that can originate in these areas.
We have been brainstorming the future directions of the Moon Society's Moonbase Analog Program.
Thanks to our friends in Calgary, Alberta, Canada who are scouting the way for us, it is beginning to become ever clearer how we should proceed.
The Calgary Space Workers are now an affiliated organization of the Moon Society.
The Moon Seems to be a barren, useless “rubble pile” with which it is difficult to imagine that we could do anything useful.
But let’s take a second looK!
For the sake of argument, let’s pretend that money is not a problem. The Moon Society has decided to find a location for its own Analog Research Station in a more geologically and morphologically appropriate area. What locations might make a short list, if we were constrained by logistical practicalities to the area of the continental U.S., “the lower 48” states?
Our first search turns up four promising areas, all in the Western States, each offering extensive lava flow sheets and attendant lava tubes:
Why NASA should put a RelaySat & Dedicated Moonscope at L5
Note: This article is out of date with our current membership info procedures.
One possible reason that some members fail to renew their membership is that they never get email updates on Society Progress, let alone renewal reminders. There are three main reasons why this may happen:
There is now a direct link on the Moon Society front page to Lunar Enterprise Daily, an online report on moon-relevant space developments published at 12:00 Hawaii Standard Time for the following day's edition every business day, that is, five days a week, barring holidays.
LED’s inaugural issue was November 4, 1999. It was originally available as a subscription service ($295 per year, $595 for organizations.) But thanks to increasing revenues from advertising, LED became freely available earlier this year.