Xu sent her aura out to encompass the lander. While the space vehicle had touched down within the planned landing ellipse, it was further from the Hab than desired. As well, it seemed to be resting at an odd angle. Through her feelings, she couldn’t sense any emotions of alarm coming from within. As well, the CapCom and lander communications remained nominal; indicative of a mission proceeding as planned. This satisfied her that the visitors’ arrival was OK even though she and the other residents had felt a marked increase in nervous strain over the past few days.
Having six new people on the Moon caused Xu a certain amount of apprehension. While the visitors’ lander had enough provisions for the occupants and even some supplies for the colonists, she was worried that their scarce resources might get overdrawn. To avoid this, the visitors would remain based on their lander, visit them occasionally in the Hab and simply take advantage of the local ground-truth information to travel about the vicinity. Sure, the visitors were paying their fund, the Lunar Colony Fund, a handsome fee for this opportunity. But she had to be sure that the colonists’ future was not harmed in any way. Behind her she felt Desai’s nearby presence as he whirled away on his network link to his Earth empire. Just beside, Valentina had activated a direct audio link with one of the visitors and was emphatically stressing some point in a language that sounded like Russian. Jean, perhaps the most nervous of them, had chosen this time to take a quick cat-nap; his own way of coping with such a dramatic change to their living conditions. She filled the role of the colony’s foreign secretary as it were. She kept busy by being the link between the lander, the colony and the Earth. As well, she was the final authority on what the visitors could do. She took on this role with great care; juggling the desires of the paying guests with the needs of their fledgling colony. In only a few hours, they would receive their first guest, a paying tourist.
Xu placed her full attention back to the communications channel. CapCom was confirming a solid touchdown and ensuring all equipment responded to commands. Soon, Woof would retrieve the supply containers from the lower reaches of the lander. Next, the mission specialist would begin their assaying. Only after would the tourist exit the lander and journey over to their Hab to greet the colonists.
An interesting, recent news report indicated that only 1% of Earth’s population will control over 50% of the human economic wealth. The question we put to you is, “Should we put more effort into subscribing wealthy individuals or more effort into subscribing regular individuals?” Send us your thoughts.
Here on Earth we see the seasonal change continues to define much of our daily activity as it has so influenced our culture. As the winter solstice fades away, we start looking forward to what the equinox will bring. Now consider yourself on the Moon. Standing there you will see no changing season, indeed no environment whatsoever. Every ‘day’ will have 354 hours with the sun shining and another 354 hours without the Sun shining. No clouds, no wind, no rain, no tress, nothing. We will need special people to go live on the Moon and endure this monotony. How will we select them?
Here at the Lunar Colony Fund we are preparing for another year of heightening our profile and generating funds for the Lunar Colony’s infrastructure. If you have fund raising ideas, send them in and we will support them however we can.
Jean let his foot fall down off the final step and planted it upon the leveled surface. He was inside their igloo. Their safety refuge in case of solar flares. Woof had done much of the building. Every time the Sun lit the surface and they had slept, Woof had gently mounded a shielding layer of dirt above the refuge. The material came from the rock borer that had excavated a space underground. Sure it wasn’t like anything imagined for Balin the dwarf king of Moria made famous from Tolkien’s novel. But, Jean felt great pride in what they had achieved.
The steps into the refuge were angled toward the Moon’s southern pole so that the solar radiation would never directly enter in. While there weren’t many in number, perhaps 20, they were scaled according to the Moon’s gravity. Thus, each step was similar to a small platform on Earth. At the refuge’s base, no door separated the interior from interstellar space however the long-term plan was to sinter all the surfaces to immobilize the rock and then add a hermetically sealed door. Eventually, a more robust seal inside would enable the interior to be used as a shirt-sleeve living space. But for now, it was simply for shielding.
Jean let the spool unravel a bit further as he laid its cable on the ground toward the cabinet up against a wall. The cable contained two wires; one to carry power directly from the Hab, the other to carry power from a solar array directly overhead. Though the four colonists would have to remain inside their space suits whenever huddled inside the refuge, at least they would have a simple work station to keep them connected to Earth and to give them an estimate of the radiation level. He wasn’t looking forward to having to use this chamber but it was vital for their long term survival and a necessary feature for them to provide a service to tourists. He thought it odd that he wasn’t looking forward to the tourists and felt them to be interlopers rather than paying customers.
“Oh well” he said to himself “nothing to do about it but get through the visit so that we four can return to normal”.