The 200-odd "lunar pits", identified by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, range from 5 to 900 meters in diameter. Possibly formed by ancient lava flows on the moon (and the subsequent collapse of the terrain from the surface), the mooncaves will require a probe to fully analyse them for possible habitability.
As theverge.com reports, moon researcher Robert Wagner explained, "A habitat placed in a pit — ideally several dozen meters back under an overhang — would provide a very safe location for astronauts: no radiation, no micrometeorites, possibly very little dust, and no wild day-night temperature swings."
Even with more thorough assessment by NASA, the first years of moon colonization would be difficult, much as the early conquest of America was. Initially, it could be the wild west of space...maybe we should call it "Moontana."
|Artist's rendering of NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is currently swooping around the moon and checking out real estate.|