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Thread: ESA Moon Ambitions

  1. #1
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    ESA Moon Ambitions

    ESA has explored the moon over the years. Now there is a new drive for ambitious mission by itself or with International partners.

    A new plan is to explore Luna caves.

    http://www.esa.int/Enabling_Support/...re_lunar_caves

    In a first step towards uncovering the Moon's subterranean secrets, in 2019 we asked for your ideas to detect, map and explore lunar caves. Five ideas were selected to be studied in more detail, each addressing different phases of a potential mission.

    Through these five Sysnova studies, three mission scenarios were developed – one to perform a preliminary scout of entry pits and underground caves from the Moon's surface, one to lower a probe into a pit and access the first part of a cave, and one to explore an underground lava tube using autonomous rovers.

    "Although the studies were very different in topic and approach, they all provided great insight into potential technologies for exploring and investigating the geology of the Moon's subsurface," says Loredana Bessone, Technical Officer for the studies and Project Manager for ESA CAVES and PANGAEA, speaking soon after the results of the studies were presented. "It's been a fascinating journey, and a great opportunity for ESA to start looking into missions to explore lunar caves."
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    ESA has explored the moon over the years. Now there is a new drive for ambitious mission by itself or with International partners.

    A new plan is to explore Luna caves.

    http://www.esa.int/Enabling_Support/...re_lunar_caves
    Is there any evidence of a cave/lava tube at the bottom of this pit (Marius Hills pit)?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    Is there any evidence of a cave/lava tube at the bottom of this pit (Marius Hills pit)?
    Don't think we will know for sure till we send a probe to investigate. We have only seen it from a satellite.

    http://lroc.sese.asu.edu/posts/202

    The Marius Hills pit was discovered in images from the Japanese SELENE/Kaguya Terrain Camera and Multiband Imager, and reported in Geophysical Research Letters. The Japanese team, led by Junichi Haruyama, made multiple observations of the pit using both the Terrain Camera and the Multiband Imager at resolutions as high as 6 meters/pixel (see below). The LROC image presented here (above), at 0.5 meters/pixel, is the highest resolution image of the Marius Hills pit to date! (The SELENE/Kaguya Terrain Camera team also made a fly-over movie of the hole.)
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  4. #4
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    ESA recently started the third round of a series of studies that focus on exploring lunar caves.

    https://phys.org/news/2021-03-esa-mi...aves-moon.html
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