News & Opinion | October 19, 2017 9:00 am

The Moon Has Underground Caves, and They Might Be Habitable

That's one small step for man, one giant leap for moonkind

On July 20th, 1969, the U.S. put a man on the moon. And now it looks like we’re gearing up to put man in the moon. 

Because recently discovered radar data collected by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency has revealed an enormous network of caves underneath the lunar surface carved out by lava. The underground cave system is important because while humans can survive on the moon’s surface, its extreme temps and radiation make life unsustainable.

Published in Geophysical Research Letters, the research on the 30-mile-long network indicates that in addition to being large enough to house an entire city, the cave offers a “pristine environment to conduct a scientific examination of the moon’s composition.”

And, if everything checks out, scientists might not be the only ones to call the cave home.

“[The cave] might be the best candidate sites for future lunar bases, because of their stable thermal conditions and potential to protect people and instruments from micrometeorites and cosmic ray radiation,” said JAXA researcher Junichi Haruyama, according to The Guardian.

Since all the information about the cave — which was boosted with findings from NASA’s GRAIL mission — must be confirmed, a physical exploration of the area could be in order.

Guess it’s time to shoot for the moon.