Space scientists have determined that there are regions on the moon where lunar caves and craters maintain a constant temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit, making them well suited to humans.
The craters and caverns that base camps might lead to would make it safer and more thermally stable for lunar exploration and long-term habitation than the rest of the moon’s surface, which gets as hot as 260 degrees during the day and drops as low as 280. Below zero at night.
Craters were first discovered on the moon in 2009, and since then, scientists have wondered if they led to caves that could be explored or used as shelters. About 16 of the more than 200 craters are probably collapsed lava tubes, said Tyler Horvath, a doctoral student at UCLA who led the new research.[…]
Building bases in the shaded parts of these craters allows scientists to focus on other challenges, such as growing food, providing oxygen to astronauts, gathering resources for experiments, and expanding the base. Craters or caves will also provide some protection from cosmic rays, solar radiation, and micro-meteorites.
“Humans evolved while living in caves, and we may go back to caves when we live on the moon,” he said. [UCLA professor of planetary science David] Paige, who leads the Diviner lunar radiometer experiment.