1st April 2021
As the newest member of the Terrafirma team I count myself extremely fortunate to have gained employment in what is currently a highly competitive job market. However, while I am relatively certain it is not an April Fool’s joke, I remain cautious! Before joining Terrafirma I graduated from the University of Bristol with an MSci in Geology, and then interned at the European Space Agency (ESA) for nine months, where I assisted in astronaut training.
At ESA I worked as part of the PANGAEA team, the aim of which is to teach astronauts the geological knowledge and skills necessary for them to be able to operate on planetary surfaces with increased independence. A lot of my time was spent focusing on extra-terrestrial caves due to the unique characteristics they exhibit. For example, caves on the Moon and Mars may contain volatile deposits (e.g., water ice) that would be valuable to crewed exploration missions. Furthermore, caves provide protection from temperature fluctuations, radiation, and micrometeorite impacts, making them attractive sites for sustained habitation, by human or otherwise.
No crewed or robotic missions have entered an extra-terrestrial cave, therefore, much of our understanding of extra-terrestrial caves comes from studying their surface expression. One feature from which we can learn a great deal is ‘skylights’, which are sinkholes that form due to the collapse of underlying lava tubes (large caves created by the flow of lava underground). Skylights are relatively common on the Moon, and from their size, shape and depth, several insights about the lava tube’s characteristics can be gained. However, more importantly, skylight formation poses a potential hazard to lunar properties. That is why Terrafirma is proud to offer the first Ground Reports on the Moon. As on Earth, Terrafirma’s Moon Reports make use of large volumes of relevant data to provide a detailed assessment of hazards which may affect your property. So, when purchasing lunar properties, consult Terrafirma for your own peace of mind!
Of course, there are no properties yet built on the moon, but given our history of innovation in the conveyancing, banking and insurance sectors, you’d think Terrafirma would be the first to offer interplanetary ground risk assessments. Until then, we will continue to provide our clients with expert-led Earth Ground Risk Reports and Earth Ground Risk Models.
Happy April Fool’s Day from me and the rest of Terrafirma’s Earth geologists, soil scientists and mining engineers.