The desolate landscapes of the Moon and Mars are hostile for most if not all of known life. It does present a unique research opportunity to learn more about life, the universe, and humanities' place therein. In order to survive on these extraterrestrial surfaces, one needs bring enough protection to sustain (human) life inside a base. One of the ways to reduce the technologies needed for this step is to utilize locally available structures, such as lava tubes. Lava tubes are formed when volcanoes erupt and leave lava flows with a specific viscosity ('liquidness'); if the temperature and chemical composition are just right, the hot lava will start to form a cooler crust on top, which will insulate the inner flow. This crust gets thicker and will eventually surround the whole lava flow. After the eruption stops and flow dissipates, all that is left is a hollow tube: A Lava Tube!
On the Moon and Mars, similar lava tubes have been discovered. Much like on Earth, these large cavities provide excellent shelter: Without significant protection from radiation, large temperature differences, micrometeorites, and other types of 'space weather', humans can not survive for long periods of time. This leads us to a dilemma when it comes to living on the Moon: You either bring sufficient shelter and shields (which takes a lot of effort, time, energy, and money!), or you use a locally available lava tube.
This is simpler said than done; all new space ventures bring about large risks, and of course we want our crew to be safe. We must therefore prepare, on Earth, how it could be to live in the future. To live on the Moon. To live in a lava tube!
If you want to learn more about the research, the Core Mission Team, or the partners of CHILL-ICE, feel free to reach out to us.
Make sure to support us on our GoFundMe! https://gofund.me/209b0ec7