Scientists identify perfect place for moon base

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Japanese scientists have identified the perfect place to build a moon base. (101817-ktrk-jaxa-lava-tube-img)

Japanese scientists say they've identified the perfect place on the moon to build a lunar base.

They released a photo of what appears to be a large crater in the Marius Hills region of the moon's surface. It's actually a lava tube, and it could shield humans from radiation, meteorites and extreme temperatures.

Unlike Earth, the moon lacks an atmosphere and magnetic field that would normally shield human beings from those elements.

Scientists at JAXA, Japan's space agency, identified the lava tube while studying the origins and geologic evolution of the moon.

"It's important to know where and how big lunar lava tubes are if we're ever going to construct a lunar base," said Junichi Haruyama with JAXA. "But knowing these things is also important for basic science. We might get new types of rock samples, heat flow data and lunar quake observation data."

Scouting out the lava tube and its surrounding area could be a focus for future missions. The Trump administration said earlier this month that it would push for more lunar exploration.

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