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Guests: Dr. Haym Benaroya, Raymond Martin; Topics: We discussed their published paper, "Pressurized lunar lava tubes for habitation." This was a detailed discussion with additional topics at the end regarding orbital assembly and SSP.
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We welcomed back to the show Dr. Haym Benaroya with his graduate student, Raymond Martin, to discuss Raymond's reviewed and published graduate school thesis, "Pressurized lunar lava tubes for habitation." As of the date this program aired, the published paper had not yet been released. As soon as its available, Dr. Benaroya will make it available to The Space Show.
Our discussion with Raymond and Dr. Benaroya was very focused on lunar lava tubes for habitation. Raymond went into great detail to tell us how this graduate school thesis project came to be plus the he told us the boundaries and limitations, i.e. the scope of is project. We talked about finding a lava tube that one could somewhat easily seal off a part of it to pressurize it. Both Raymond and Dr. Benaroya received several questions on the logistics of how to pressurize the lava tube, keep it from leaking, plus they were asked to detail how one would fill the sealed off tube with O2 and various other gasses needed on the Moon for human habitation. The simple way to summarize this discussion would be to imagine the lava tube with a large type of conduit going through it. The conduit would be pressurized for human habitation. Questions such as light via skylights, getting in and out of the lava tube, climate control, radiation shielding, even possibly creating some A.G. in part of the tube were talked about.
Listener Jenny asked about stability, especially with moonquakes. Haym had much to say on that topic. Penny asked about Martian lava tubes and wondered just how similar they might be to a lunar tube. The simple answer was that they were similar but our guests went on to talk about some significant differences. One additional topic that I found very interesting was the way Raymond envisioned doing Earth based lunar lava tube simulation studies. What do you think about? How about posting your thoughts on that concern or anything else about lava tubes on our blog. We do want to hear from you.
Theoretical timelines for lava tube development were discussed. It was suggested that maybe within 20-30 years we might see some lunar lava tube human habitation providing we return with humans to the Moon in ten years from now.
Please post your comments/questions for Dr. Benaroya and Raymond Martin on our blog. Both can be reached through me but Dr. Benaroya can also be reached through his Rutgers engineering faculty page.