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Huge cave on Moon could one day house astronauts

Scientists believe that it would shelter astronauts from dangerous radiation and wild temperature swings. 

Huge cave on Moon could one day house astronauts

New Delhi: There is a huge cave on the Moon which could one day be home to astronauts, say researchers.

Scientists at Japan's space agency believe that it would shelter astronauts from dangerous radiation and wild temperature swings as the 50 kilometres (31 miles) long and 100-metre wide cavern is believed to be lava tube created by volcanic activity.

"We've known about these locations that were thought to be lava tubes but their existence has not been confirmed until now," Junichi Haruyama, a researcher at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, told AFP. 

The underground tunnel, located under an area called the Marius Hills, would help protect astronauts from huge swings in temperature and damaging radiation that they would be exposed to on the moon's surface, he added.

"We haven't actually seen the inside of the cave itself so there are high hopes that exploring it will offer more details," Haruyama said.

The announcement comes after Japan in June revealed ambitious plans to put an astronaut on the Moon around 2030.

That was the first time the agency had said it aimed to send an astronaut beyond the International Space Station.

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