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Mars Moon Space Science

When On the Moon and Mars, Move Underground 294

astroengine writes "Recent observations of the lunar and martian surface are turning up multiple discoveries of 'skylights' — collapsed roofs of hollow rilles or lava tubes. These holes into ready-made underground bunkers could provide ideal shelter for future manned bases on the two worlds. Firstly, they would provide shelter from the barrage of micrometeorites, solar x-rays and deep space cosmic rays. Secondly, they'd help protect our burgeoning colonists from the extreme swings in surface temperature (on the moon, temperatures vary by 500 degrees F, but inside these lava tubes, the environment remains at a fairly constant -35 degrees). Thirdly, the sci-fi notion of underground space cities could become a reality."
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When On the Moon and Mars, Move Underground

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  • by cats-paw ( 34890 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @12:32PM (#32952390) Homepage

    it's not obvious to me how you can have a habitat in space without being underground.

    I guess you could just build thick-walled structures of some sort, but going underground seems like it's probably slightly easier.

    • by fiannaFailMan ( 702447 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @12:34PM (#32952422) Journal

      It's the traveling to Mars that makes me wonder how we're going to keep people shielded from radiation en route. I've seen the proposals and they look doable, but they'll significantly add to the complexity of the mission.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by bsDaemon ( 87307 )

        Would it not be an option to send robotic construction workers to the site ahead of time to begin construction of the shelter? Or, send two separate ships, one that just has cargo on board? That way, the ship that carries the people would need to carry less, and therefor the weight that would be allocated to kit could be allocated to slightly thicker walls. But, in typical Slashdot fashion, I'm just putting forth something that seems reasonable, substituting what I believe to be common sense for the engi

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by vlm ( 69642 )

          Use the same giant freighter network for heavy bulk material and humans (admittedly overlap for some of us)

          Ship the heavy non-living stuff via Hohmann transfer orbit or the incredibly slow ITN. Its incredibly heavy so at a low delta-V it'll take awhile.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hohmann_transfer_orbit [wikipedia.org]

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interplanetary_Transport_Network [wikipedia.org]

          On the other hand, occasionally you have an extremely lightweight payload of human beings. Send them at very high acceleration on a much faster h

          • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @01:09PM (#32952922)

            Forcing everyone into the hot tub during a solar flare is actually not as impractical as some might think.

            There was a situation like that depicted on Defying Gravity [wikipedia.org], episode 8, "Love, Honor, Obey" where during a solar flare the crew took refuge in a room surrounded by the water tanks and polyurethane insulation.

            • by sznupi ( 719324 )

              Don't mention that POS thing masquarading as a scifi TV series, not without warning unsuspecting people.

              Also, it would be a good idea to mention "BBC Space Odyssey: Voyage to the Planets" (avoid the castrated US version), which is monumentally better (why, why do I even compare them?) and of which "defying gravity" is a direct rip-off, just made extremelly poorly.

              • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @02:10PM (#32953600)
                Sorry to offend. I haven't seen "Voyage to the Planets" (UK or US versions). The Wikipedia page describes a different motivation for their voyage than on Defying Gravity - the latter was more about inter-personal relationships (unfortunately described as Grey's Anatomy in space) and the alien objects on the various planets.

                I actually liked the show. I don't understand people's vitriol against the various science liberties employed, like instant communication over distance or the artificial gravity, as many (most?) other popular Sci-Fi shows do the same (Star Trek, Firefly, Stargate, etc... - Don't get me started in SG-U.) In addition, the production quality (CG, music, etc) was very high for a weekly show. The half-mile long ship itself was designed with input from NASA and consideration of possible advancements and launch capabilities over the next 40 years.

                Before passing complete judgment on DG, I would recommend watching all 13 episodes, not just the 8 aired. Perhaps I'm biased toward some of the character relationships and interactions as they reminded me of things in my own relationships and things I felt when my wife died of a brain tumor in 2006. I know the last scene of the last episode, Kiss, though sappy, was like my last kiss with my wife, except she didn't wake up afterward. I heard her last breath, felt her last heartbeat and kissed her goodbye.

                There's more to good sci-fi than the science.

                • by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @05:14PM (#32956478)

                  I don't understand people's vitriol against the various science liberties employed, like instant communication over distance or the artificial gravity, as many (most?) other popular Sci-Fi shows do the same (Star Trek, Firefly, Stargate, etc... - Don't get me started in SG-U.)

                  I disagree.

                  If a show/movie is depicting technology close to our own, then it should be consistent in that portrayal, and not show technology that is hundreds of years away or more.

                  What would you think of a TV show set 5 years in the future, but which shows cops carrying portable laser guns, while everything else is exactly the same? It'd be stupid, and everyone would say so. Several leaps in technology would be required to have handheld laser guns, the biggest of which would probably be batteries capable of storing far more energy than today's. If that did happen, many other things would change because of it; electric cars would become popular very very quickly, for instance.

                  Or how about a show set 10 years in the future, where everything's mostly the same, people still drive cars, but instead of taking planes to faraway locations, they use teleporters? Again, stupid.

                  It's the same deal with artificial gravity and FTL communications. The only difference is that they aren't quite as obvious to science-ignorant audiences as ray guns and teleporters. Artificial gravity and FTL communications might indeed be possible (we'll never know until we achieve them, as you can't prove a negative), but if technology evolves to the point where these technologies (particularly artificial gravity) are possible, then we'll also have much better propulsion technology, and many other things would be different.

                  These things work in Star Trek and Stargate because 1) in Star Trek, they're portraying a society far more advanced than ours, not only in time but in technology (partly because of contact with technologically-superior races like the Vulcans), so they have a lot of leeway in making up possible new technologies, and 2) in Stargate, even though it's set in present-day, it posits contact with races with much older civilizations and FAR more advanced than ours (especially the Asgard) with technologies we can currently only dream of, so again they have lots of leeway in making up stuff that's well beyond our current understanding of physics. Notice than in both these series, FTL propulsion is commonplace. Anyone advanced enough to have FTL propulsion will probably also have figured out artificial gravity along the way. Firefly is slightly less defensible because they don't have FTL propulsion, but they are hundreds (maybe thousands) of years in the future and have apparently figured out how to travel to another star system, as well as terraform many planets and moons, both things that are well beyond our technology, and their propulsion, while sub-FTL, is still far more advanced than our primitive chemical rockets.

                  If you want to see near-term space exploration shown realistically, rent a copy of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Made way back in the late 60s, they got just about everything right: NO artificial gravity except by rotation, long communications delays, etc. The only things they got wrong were 1) the timeframe was way too optimistic (it's 9 years past 2001 and we're still nowhere near long-term manned missions, large rotating space stations, or moon bases; we slacked off starting in the 70s and we're getting lazier), and 2) the intelligence of the HAL9000 computer.

                  If they could depict all these things correctly in a movie made back in the 60s, before inexpensive CGI existed, there's simply no excuse for any movie or TV show to screw up future technology now.

            • Red Mars did it.

          • On the other hand, occasionally you have an extremely lightweight payload of human beings. Send them at very high acceleration on a much faster hyperbolic (far above escape velocity) transfer orbit.

            Is it really feasible to send humans faster than Hohmann with current tech? Last I heard it wasn't... which makes radiation (and perhaps worse, isolation!) a legit problem.

            Similarly I was under the impression that it wasn't necessarily attenuation from atmospheric mass that provided cosmic radiation shielding, but rather the magnetosphere, which is something not easily duplicatable on an interplanetary craft.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by John Hasler ( 414242 )

              > Similarly I was under the impression that it wasn't necessarily attenuation
              > from atmospheric mass that provided cosmic radiation shielding, but rather
              > the magnetosphere...

              The atmosphere stops the cosmic rays, which are far too energetic to be bothered by the magnetic field. The latter stops the solar wind which would otherwise erode the atmosphere, though it would stop them quite readily while it lasted.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 19, 2010 @12:40PM (#32952520)

        Duh! You just travel at night!

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by smaddox ( 928261 )

        I'm more worried about how any human civilization would survive more than a year without constant resupplying from Earth. Biosphere2 was a complete disaster, and it showed us how much we have to learn before we can successfully colonize another planet.

    • by JoeMerchant ( 803320 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @12:48PM (#32952618)
      So, if we get that far, we'll be lunar cave men.
    • it's not obvious to me how you can have a habitat in space without being underground.

      It's been done before. It's called Earth.

    • by 32771 ( 906153 )

      I'm wondering whether there are any drilling robots that could just go there and drill the required tunnels and caverns. I have always been wondering whether water is a required ingredient for any drilling operation. But lately I heard that it is mainly meant for cooling and to prevent silicosis in miners. This should be true for small drilling equipment if you want to do any blasting, i.e. where the transport of dirt out of the hole is not the issue. But more modern mines are build without much blasting I

      • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @02:52PM (#32954180) Journal
        Conditions on the moon would actually be pretty unenviable for heavy machinery. The low gravity would be a plus, allowing impressive feats of strength, and otherwise implausibly spindly construction(though remember that mass, and inertia, don't change. That one can be embarrassing). It's all downhill from there, though.

        The lunar surface experiences no weathering, only meteorite and micrometerorite impacts, so it consists largely of fused globs and shards of glassy materials, as sharp as they day they formed. Without an atmosphere, static cling is a serious issue. Without much water(or the temperature envelope in which to use it) you can't just hose that stuff off. It worms its way into every crevice, and just grinds away. If you generate heat, conduction and convection work substantially less well than you would expect, since there is no atmosphere. The rock still conducts heat away from the work area; but any air-cooled machinery isn't exactly going to work very well...

        I doubt that it is impossible; but it is a nasty pile of engineering challenges. Something like Mars, which is basically a desert that used to beat up and steal the lunch money of even the toughest earthly deserts might actually be much easier(despite being further away). They have actual weathering there, an atmosphere(albeit a rather thin one) for air-cooling, and a surface that isn't exclusively made of tiny shards of glass that just want to cling to you and grind away....
  • Why bother? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 19, 2010 @12:33PM (#32952402)

    It's a hell of a lot cheaper and easier to live underground on earth.

    • Re:Why bother? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ElectricTurtle ( 1171201 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @12:45PM (#32952584)
      By all means, let us keep all our eggs in one basket and just wait patiently for some extinction event. That worked out well for the other 99% of life on earth over geologic time.
      • Re:Why bother? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by sznupi ( 719324 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @12:53PM (#32952704) Homepage

        Thing is, for "some" (assuming random, among many scenarios possible) extinction event, it's still most likely much more efficient to live underground, on Earth; saving orders of magnitude more people in the process, on comparable resources. At least when talking about foreseeable future (talking beyond that is a bit pointless anyway)

        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 19, 2010 @12:56PM (#32952764)

          That's exactly why I live in my parent's basement!

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward
            What happened to your other parent?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Creating an independent extraterrestrial colony is a mammoth task, but it would be resilient to all possible extinction events below a level affecting more than one planet of the solar system. Any single planet solution is ultimately vulnerable to anything up to and including planetary events. When the entire species is at stake, cost-benefit analysis needs to be a bit broader in scope to match.
          • by sznupi ( 719324 )

            it would be resilient to all possible extinction events below a level affecting more than one planet of the solar system

            And that's a very narrow strip of scenarios (again, we're talking about foreseeable future; in a long time we might be "post-human" for all we know). Most impact events / flares / etc. are more efficient to prevent or...survive in the lithosphere of this planet. In between there's the level of orbits-disturbing or big-fraking-solar-flare-causing visitor from outside the system, which is ve

            • Betting on rarity really works well when it comes to levees and hurricanes, building design parameters and earthquakes, etc. I mean, sure, lots of people have died when the really rare events eventually happened, but I'm sure that means that going forward rare things won't actually happen anymore.~

              While I think that humanity could survive another event on the level of the Chicxulub impact, I don't think that a larger event is survivable. There are also problems unique to humanity as an increasingly capabl
              • by sznupi ( 719324 )

                The point is exactly that whatever humanity does, it won't be due to avoiding very rare variants of extinction events (except crash-projects of course, but we're not talking about those). So beside the point in arguing for action, really.
                BTW, ignoring such wide-encompassing worries probably was a beneficial trait, helping survival; still might be. In the face of other life, other groups of people. Let's assume there was some group foreseeing some distant inescapable disaster - well, they would be just subdu

                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  Beware the argument from natural selection, it is not inherently superior. Natural selection produces things that work well enough, not things that work best. Natural selection produces life forms that can't feed themselves, such as the adult gypsy moth, others that die immediately after reproduction, such as the salmon, and lifeforms that die simply because their "design" sucks compared to others (honey bees' vs. hornets' stingers). Reproduction is the primary focus of natural selection, which is why some
          • by MikeURL ( 890801 )
            While we are a world that depends on fossil fuels we are all on a very short leash, in terms of geological time. We will run through all the oil and gas in the ground in the blink of an eye in terms of very large timelines.

            I guess what I'm saying is wake me up when we're on renewable sources of energy and we can start to think about using some of the surplus to maintain colonies just because it is cool to do so. I think the most feasible route for this occurring is a truly workable fusion solution. if
        • by gmuslera ( 3436 )
          The problem is that for some won't be enough. And sometimes just developing the technology for making that possible could have side consequences that could pay all the effort.
        • Re:Why bother? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by bmajik ( 96670 ) <matt@mattevans.org> on Monday July 19, 2010 @01:53PM (#32953418) Homepage Journal

          The best reason to try this on the moon is that there is nowhere on Earth where the people on the surface wouldn't presume to own what was underneath the surface.

          The best way to avoid wars and to keep people happy is to let folks who must "Agree to disagree" choose to not be neighbors.

          We're out of places for free people to live on Earth's land masses. Everything on Earth's surface is owned and controlled by somebody at this point -- somebody who has no problem killing you if you don't do what they like.

          Where is a free-minded man to live? Where is the next frontier? The sea-steading folks are working on a promising option, but that merely moves the goal posts out a bit farther, but doesn't solve the problem.

          Space-steading is the long term answer. Getting a functional permanant society on the moon is step 1. Anything that makes that easier is worth looking at.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by natehoy ( 1608657 )

            ... and once it becomes practical on a scale that would support enough people to get out there, eventually some jackass would control it who will kill you if you don't do what he/she likes. Doesn't matter how large the space we can reach is, if you get there someone with more resources is going to want to control you.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by downhole ( 831621 )

            An interesting point, but I have a feeling that, at least for the foreseeable future, any space colonies will be far too dependent on expensive high technology gear to have the kind of political independence you're thinking of. Any person or group of people with enough money to even get into Earth orbit without drawing a Government paycheck probably also has enough money to buy lots of practical independence in plenty of places on Earth.

      • By all means, let us keep all our eggs in one basket and just wait patiently for some extinction event.

        Well, that does have the advantage of being practical, at the very least. If we choose, we can deal with most terrestrial "extinction event" threats a good deal more cheaply - by multiple orders of magnitude, probably - than by sending a substantial number of our population to a distant and hostile "habitat". There aren't many (any?) such events you can think of that would result in a less survivable environment than we'd encounter on any reachable extraterrestrial planet.

        Of course, in that case our infants

      • By all means, let us keep all our eggs in one basket and just wait patiently for some extinction event.

        It would seem that neither patience nor waiting is necessary. Along with much of the rest of the animal kingdom, we seem in the middle of an extinction event, viz. the rise of Homo Sapiens.

        The question of finding another basket or moving our eggs into it is non-trivial. Consider the immense and largely unexplored ecosystem in a square metre of soil outside your door. Try duplicating that in a lunar or Martian context. You can only conceive of it with a huge amount of hand waving. To carry it out, the han

        • > Consider the immense and largely unexplored ecosystem in a square metre of
          > soil outside your door. Try duplicating that in a lunar or Martian context.

          No need to duplicate it. It's portable.

      • I'm curious... if we send pioneers to another planet, and somehow manage to make it livable/cover it with vegetation/create an earth-like atmosphere...

        Will people still care about the environment?
        Will they care more because we poured our blood and sweat into it?
        or will they care less because even if we bomb the place back into a baron wasteland we're just back where we started?

        How would doing that on another planet effect people's respect of the environment on earth?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 19, 2010 @12:33PM (#32952404)

    I thought we agreed to kill any NASA funding that looked like it might be headed towards progress?

    (captcha: realist)

  • The moon mole people--though defenseless and inviting--were no match for our rail guns and bunker busting missiles. After denying hailing frequency after hailing frequency of cultural exchange, I fearlessly and heroically protected the Earth by sitting at rest in a fully armored spaceship at the Earth/Moon L1 position. In a very sensual valour snuggie I drank the hot cocoa of the gods as wave after wave of our warriors bounced around the moon exterminating the moon mole people with golf clubs, the very same fearsome weapon used by the first of our warriors to set foot on the moon decades ago.

    President Nixon, I present to you a new settlement and planet completely safe and devoid of the once furry stubby armed moon mole people!
  • by GameGod0 ( 680382 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @12:34PM (#32952430)
    Famous last words.
  • Stanford torus (Score:5, Informative)

    by FalconZero ( 607567 ) * <[FalconZero] [at] [Gmail.com]> on Monday July 19, 2010 @12:38PM (#32952488)
    Am I the only one who noticed that the colony pictured in the article is more likely a Standford Torus [wikipedia.org], or am I just being picky?
  • While there are benefits to living underground, I don't think that living underground is itself a benefit. If it were, then more people on Earth would be living underground already. [Insert joke about Slashdot readers and basements here.] So I'm a little hazy on why the summary passed that off as the third "benefit". (And no, living like a science fiction movie isn't a benefit either. Not all SciFi is Utopian.)

    • by sznupi ( 719324 )

      I don't know; buildings do resemble, in a way, essentially an artificial cave.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Excavation is expensive.

      No, scratch that, excavation is fucking expensive.

      Go look up the costs of major transportation tunnel projects. Billions. Imagine the cost of putting habitable structures of any size down there... especially when you can just build up with no excavation cost. (The excavation cost is on top of the cost of all the structure itself. Even after you get all the dirt and rock out, you still need walls and support structure, just like any other building, not to mention all the finishing
    • You never saw 'CHUD'?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *

      If it were, then more people on Earth would be living underground

      It all depends where you live [wikipedia.org]. There is a huge cost to building underground since you have to move a lot of earth, you have to take steps to make sure your cave doesn't collapse, you have to deal with water seepage, you have to circulate air, and THEN you have to build your dwelling. On Earth it's usually not feasible, no matter how bad the weather. Although in really really cold climates most people have their cars in u

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      And no, living like a science fiction movie isn't a benefit either. Not all SciFi is Utopian.

      No, it isn't. Yet many people here imagine how unrelentingly cool and exciting their lives would be, if only they were living in The Future. Well, we are living in the future, from the reference point of a century ago, but that doesn't protect us from being depressed and miserable.

      Guess what: The girls on the voyage to Proxima Centauri in 2300 aren't going to like you any more than the ones here and now, and you'll be hating them just as much for it. The stuff you'll do there every day will seem just as rou

  • And for those of you from the few countries using the new-fangled* Celsius scale, that's a touch colder than -37C.

    * (invented in 1742, current version from 1744)

    • by sznupi ( 719324 )

      Current version is from 2005.

    • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @01:17PM (#32953026)
      • Leela: Fry, night lasts two weeks on the moon.
      • Moon Farmer: Yep, drops down to minus-173.
      • Fry: Celsius or Fahrenheit?
      • Moon Farmer: First one, then the other.
    • by samkass ( 174571 )

      I would think computer scientists would dig Farenheight. On the scale, brine's (sea water) freezing point is 0, and fresh water's freezing point is 32 (2^5). Normal body temperature was 96 on the original scale, or 32+64, or 2^5 + 2^6. These reference points were easy to mark because you could bisect the markings repeatedly until you got down to an integer degree, since they could be easily expressed with powers of two. Unfortunately it didn't quite work out, because if brine freezes at zero the average

  • i don't get it. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by underqualified ( 1318035 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @01:02PM (#32952850)
    we talk about colonizing and/or terraforming other planets when we can't even stop the ongoing negative changes happening to our own planet.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Where else can we practice living in a location that is devoid of and incapable of sustaining life? The moon of course! better start practicing now.

    • Re:i don't get it. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Tekfactory ( 937086 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @01:19PM (#32953064) Homepage

      You're right, screw the Configuration Manager and his fancy Test Environment...

      Commit all changes to the Production Planet now.

    • I don't get what you're trying to say.
      Anyone who's talking about terraforming other planets is either a sci-fi writer or an academic writing a "If we someday had to do this, this is how we might do it" paper.
      As for living in enclosed environments you can see several examples of that, most prominently the ISS as well as some underwater experiments and those biodome thingies.

      If you're expressing some sort of sentiment about leaving the moon or mars dead and barren and pristine environments then I'm very much

    • by Rhys ( 96510 )

      The lack of an atmosphere, lack of gravity to sustain one, and lack of naturally occurring liquid water means the moon more or less totally lacks much of the negative changes we could induce by colonization. Air pollution doesn't do much for you when you don't have any air to pollute. There's no water cycle to carry waste where you don't want it. The outside environment (aka hard vacuum and or regolith) is already lethal/abrasive, good luck making it 'worse' by polluting it.

      About all you'll get is the 'desp

  • by sznupi ( 719324 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @01:08PM (#32952910) Homepage

    It all boils down to a system of tubes?

  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @01:13PM (#32952980)

    Space colonists will be selected from a population conditioned to survive underground for extended periods.

    Their parents' basement.

  • Recommended reading (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ozziegt ( 865751 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @01:17PM (#32953036)
    I would highly recommend Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy. It's great science fiction and he piles on the science. In his novels some colonists actually live in lava tubes on Mars. I never get tired of reading those 3 books.
  • by Wylfing ( 144940 ) <brian@noSpAM.wylfing.net> on Monday July 19, 2010 @01:27PM (#32953164) Homepage Journal

    a fairly constant -35 degrees

    So basically people from Minnesota could just move there.

  • by Voline ( 207517 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @01:48PM (#32953358)

    "the sci-fi notion of underground space cities could become a reality."

    Because the stuff I've read clearly calls for moon settlements to have transparent glass domes.

    • transparent glass domes don't do well when meteorites hit them. With no atmosphere there will be regularly occuring meteorites.
  • Well, duh (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AdamWill ( 604569 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @01:55PM (#32953440) Homepage

    "Thirdly, the sci-fi notion of underground space cities could become a reality.""

    Well, duh. Shockingly enough, many 'sci-fi' writers are fairly smart people who know what they're talking about. Underground space cities aren't usually ideas authors just pulled out of their asses because they though it'd be cool. Mostly they show up because the authors sat down and thought 'hmm, well, if there was _really_ a settlement on a rock with no atmosphere and very little gravity and we wanted to deal with the problems of extreme temperature variations and exposure to radiation and so forth, I wonder what would be a good idea...oh, hey, underground cities!"

    It tends to bug me when stories like this get written from a viewpoint (often subconscious) of 'hey, those crazy science fiction writers thought about this fifty years ago, but now someone with letters behind their name wrote about it in a Serious Publication, that makes the thought Real!'

  • Progress (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Headw1nd ( 829599 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @05:05PM (#32956344)
    After all our advances in technology and thousands of years of hard work towards our dreams, we finally cross the gulfs of space to settle upon our new homes; and end up back where we started, living in caves.
  • overthinking (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Spy Handler ( 822350 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @05:33PM (#32956710) Homepage Journal

    Some tubes may be filled with frozen lava

    Otherwise known as rock

  • by DigiShaman ( 671371 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @08:08PM (#32958524) Homepage

    So you want your underground Moon colony, but having a hard time getting funding for the project? No problem. Just spin to them as an ultra secure penal facility.

    The politicians can now say the public is safe because the prisoners have no way of getting back home. The prison industry will love it. All that extra cash flow and stuff. The scientific community at large will now have a reason to turn a blind eye. And if they die in the vacuum of space, no one will care.

    When you send mankind into space, expect all of it's demons that make up Humanity to follow right behind.

  • by DynaSoar ( 714234 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @08:29PM (#32958692) Journal

    "...ready-made underground bunkers could provide ideal shelter..."

    said ideal shelters detected by collapsed roofs.

    Exogeologist: "Look at that collapsed cave! We could live in there."
    Pilot: "Sure, you go in first perfesser."

    This beats the astronauts' old "built by the lowest bidder" grumbles all to hell.

Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.