cave in gale crater

Image captured by Curiosity on sol 1087, click on it and then again for a closer view.

This is the first cave on Mars I've seen so far that could be (made) accessible for humans.

Are there still more images of caves on Mars captured by one of the rovers that could be (made) accessible ?

I agree, this one will still need (some) excavation and chisel(l)ing !

sol 2741
Captured by Curiosity on sol 2741.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ i dont think this cave would be very accessible but that might just be the angle of the image $\endgroup$
    – Topcode
    Apr 17, 2020 at 14:35
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    $\begingroup$ That looks more like an overhang. $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Apr 17, 2020 at 14:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Topcode I agree, this one will probably need to be further excavated. $\endgroup$
    – Cornelis
    Apr 17, 2020 at 15:20
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    $\begingroup$ @GdD im not sure, it looks like it goes in a bit but it doesn't look too wide and there doesn't seem to be much room, it looks like it narrows down pretty fast $\endgroup$
    – Topcode
    Apr 17, 2020 at 15:39

1 Answer 1


This was on my list of potential question, but now I will use it as an answer...

The extinct volcano Arsia Mons has seven known "caves" that are believed to be lava tubes:

As of 2007 seven putative cave entrances, have been identified in satellite imagery of the flanks of Arsia Mons. They have been informally dubbed Dena, Chloë, Wendy, Annie, Abbey, Nikki, and Jeanne and resemble "skylights" formed by the collapse of lava tube ceilings.

Pictures have been taken by the THEMIS satellite

caves of Arsia Mons

and by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

entrance of cave "Jeanne"

The entrances seem to be vertical. You probably can't just "walk" in, but you could add a hatch and stairs, to make a decent shelter. If Mars has an aquifer, perhaps they even lead to it.

  • $\begingroup$ Impressive entrance, but indeed you can't just walk in. With the cave to be accessible i meant a more or less horizontal entrance, so i should have been more specific. $\endgroup$
    – Cornelis
    Apr 17, 2020 at 15:57
  • $\begingroup$ I can’t imagine how to make a cave on Earth airtight. The entire inner surface must be carefully sealed from the local atmosphere and soil. In my opinion, the most realistic scenario was proposed back in the 1960s. Sintering soil using a nuclear explosion. It turns out a sealed cave with glass walls. Illustration at 41:21 youtu.be/aT1s5s2LurM?t=2481 $\endgroup$
    – A. Rumlin
    Apr 18, 2020 at 9:43
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe inflating a bag inside it? I'm pretty sure that sandbagging a habitat is more likely. $\endgroup$
    – ikrase
    Apr 19, 2020 at 20:11
  • $\begingroup$ Spray on liners that seal underground openings that also provide geotechnical support to the surface of the chamber have existed since the 1980s. The may have potential for underground chambers on other celestial bodies: Geotechnical Assessment of Thin Spray-on Liners for Underground Coal Mine Roof Support Mine Roof Support & Autonomous thin spray-on liner application in irregular tunnel and mine roadway surfaces $\endgroup$
    – Fred
    Feb 7, 2021 at 9:27

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