Caves of Mars Project

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THEMIS image of probable cave entrances on Arsia Mons. The pits have been informally named (A) Dena, (B) Chloe, (C) Wendy, (D) Annie, (E) Abby (left) and Nikki, and (F) Jeanne.

The Caves of Mars Project was an early 2000s program funded through Phase II[clarification needed] by the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts[1][2] to assess the best place to situate the research and habitation modules that a human mission to Mars would require.[3]


Caves and other underground structures, including lava tubes, canyon overhangs, and other Martian cavities would be potentially useful for manned missions, for they would provide considerable shielding from both the elements and intense solar radiation that a Mars mission would expose astronauts to. They might also offer access to minerals, gases, ices, and any subterranean life that the crew of such a mission would probably be searching for.[citation needed]

The program also studied designs for inflatable modules and other such structures that would aid the astronauts to build a livable environment for humans and earth creatures.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Robert Braun et al. (2009). Appendix E: List and Statistical Analysis of NIAC Grants. Fostering Visions for the Future: A Review of the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (National Academies Press). ISBN 0-309-14051-X. Retrieved 2010-06-30. 
  2. ^ David, LeonardS (2005-02-22). "Digging and Sniffing for Life on Mars". Retrieved 2010-06-30. 
  3. ^ Boston, P.; Frederick, G.; Frederick, G.; Welch, S.; Werker, J.; Meyer, T.R.; Sprungman, B.; Hildreth-Werker, V.; Murphy, D.; Thompson, S.L. (2004), "System Feasibility Demonstrations of Caves and Subsurface Constructed for Mars Habitation and Scientific Exploration" (PDF), USRA Reports (NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts), retrieved 2010-06-30 

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