Japan's space agency, Jaxa, has found a large cave at the base of the Moon's Marius Hill and according to the agency, it could be turned into a base for exploration on the lunar surface.
The discovery was made using Jaxa's Selenological and Engineering Explorer (Selene) probe which has a radar that can look for underground structures, reports the Guardian. The opening or the mouth of the cave was found first, says the report, prompting researchers to look for larger hollows and cave systems.
After more study, Jaxa confirmed the presence of a cave in the region. The cave is 100 metres wide and 50 km long, says the report. The cave is also structurally stable, with large rocks that might contain water and ice.
Jaxa believes that the cave is an ancient lava tube because of its location near Marius Hills, a volcanic site about 3.5 billion years ago.
"We've known about these locations that were thought to be lava tubes ... but their existence has not been confirmed until now," said Junichi Haruyama, a senior researcher at Jaxa.
These caves, "might be the best candidate sites for future lunar bases, because of their stable thermal conditions and potential to protect people and instruments from micrometeorites and cosmic ray radiation," he added.
"Careful examination of their interiors could provide unique insights concerning the evolutionary history of the moon."
The report points out that Jaxa is planning to put humans on the Moon by 2030.
Building a base on the moon is something that the space research community has been looking seriously into. Elon Musk at this year's IAC said, "It's 2017, we should have a Lunar base by now! What the hell is going on?"
That seems to be a sentiment shared by Nasa as well as they have partnered with Russia to build first space station near the moon. Nasa has also shifted focus back to the moon first away from Mars, under President Trump's plans.
And If it does happen, this cave near Marius Hill could be the right place to start.