ESA’s Spelunking Moon Robot Mission could help us learn to live in caves on other planets like Mars

Spelunking is finally out of this world. Once we send the astronauts back to the moon within this decade, there will be a lot of interest in exploring the lunar caves and uncovering the mysteries to which they are subject. But it is of the utmost importance that we make these journeys safe for any human being brave enough to plunge into these dark and deep abysses.

Thanks to satellite images, scientists know exactly where every nook and cranny of the moon’s surface lies. Our understanding of the interior of those spaces is much deeper. What we do know is that there are “pits” or “sky wells” leading to ancient lava tubes left over from the time of the moon that was volcanically active billions of years ago. It is believed that these lava tubes could form an extensive network of caves and tunnels unexplored by previous space missions.

To explore these underground tunnels, the European Space Agency may have only the tools: deploy two robots named RoboCrane and DAEDALUS. If revealed, the combination of these two bots could help carry out the first extraterrestrial orbiting mission in history.

The mission proposal calls for ESA to pilot a lunar submersible carrying RoboCrane and DAEDALUS to the Moon crater. RoboCrane will drop the nearly 2-foot-wide spherical DAEDALUS into a skylight. The little bot that will journey alone through the tunnels and caverns of the moon is equipped with the best technology suitable for a space explorer: a stereoscopic camera, a laser radar for interior mapping. 3D, temperature and radiation sensors and extendable arms to move the rock out of its way and examine the moon rock’s properties.

On the way down, DAEDALUS will begin to map the inside of the cave and identify notable features (and threats) worth keeping an eye on.

Francesco Sauro, cave scientist and planetary lava tube expert at ESA, said: “Looking inside the lunar cave will be a veritable exploration – it will reveal scientific information unexpected learning.

If the ESA turns this concept into reality, RoboCrane and DAEDALUS could launch as early as 2033, with plans to study the Marius Hills crater for about two weeks (about a day on the moon). However, the exact strategy of the mission still needs to be paused and defined in more detail in the years to come.

This discovery initiative will not only help us understand the moon, but it will also be able to use the technology to gather important information for future Mars missions. The constant radiation on the Red Planet’s surface does not make it safe for humans to live. However, like the moon, Mars may have lava tubes in a depression near the equator known as the equator. Hellas Planitia. That could provide a perfect refuge for humans, scientists say, if we attempt to walk to the neck of the galactic forest.

But before we seriously think about life in the Martian caves, we need to hone our extraterrestrial orbiting skills on the moon and verify that we know what we’re doing. ESA’s Spelunking Moon Robot Mission could help us learn to live in caves on other planets like Mars

Russell Falcon

Russell Falcon is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Russell Falcon joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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