Overlooks into a lunar pit are to be risky, but guardedly careful stops.
Credit: William Whittaker/PitRanger team



Dotting the moon’s harsh landscape are steep-walled holes known as pits. Also tagged as “skylights,” these features may lead to far-reaching, sub-surface lava tubes that were shaped billions of years ago by a then geologically lively moon.

Skylight opening on a huge lava tube in the Marius Hills region on the moon’s near side.
Credit: NASA/Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera/Science Operations Center


New technologies are being harnessed that can allow exploration of skylights, lava tubes and caverns on the moon. Underground caves on the moon could double as comfortable domiciles for future expeditionary crews.

Artwork depicts scenario of multiple micro-rover maneuvers to profile a lunar pit.
Credit: William Whittaker/PitRanger team




















Go to my new Space.com story at:

Moon pit diver: This tiny rover could explore the lunar underworld


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