Logbook #32


Chapitre 32

Desai felt slightly unnerved standing at the hill’s peak even though it was right beside the relay station. After many weeks, his appreciation of visual depth still related more to Earth than the Moon. Here he was on a small ledge with an abrupt drop off falling a few hundred metres down. Though he had secured himself to the nearby piton, he couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if he were to fall, somewhat slower than on Earth due to the lesser gravity. But eventually quite fast as there was no atmosphere to slow him. With a slight shake of his head and a re-focus onto the equipment, he brought himself around to the work at hand.

Their guests, now long since departed, had brought with them a new camera. The camera had a lens that could see both the nearby lunar surface and the far away pin pricks of starlight. Inside the camera, filters would help with geological assessment. Along the camera’s barrel lens the special optics could make star surveys with much greater clarity than any on Earth. While he knew that Valentina anticipated the installation with great delight, he had been much less keen on lugging the camera up the hill to the relay station, removing the old camera which was going to be kept as a spare, and then installing the new one. This would have been a routine, simple chore on Earth. But here on the Moon, wearing a bulky Moon suit and gloves made for a more trying exercise. He would have felt much more comfortable staying in the Hab and directing the operation from a keyboard but Xu had required everyone to continually egress the Hab and travel on the lunar surface. Given this, she had assigned him the task. Sure, by continually suiting up and walking about the surface they would get more used to the local environment rather than be merely a temporary presence. Yet, he wondered if the camera was worth all the effort. He followed the instructions being relayed to him over the communications channel and began disassembling the old camera.

As he worked, part of his mind thought of Xu’s other reason for having them travel about the surface. She set them to continually traverse the region so as to show presence and thus define ownership. Some jokers on Earth had already laid claim to vast tracks of the lunar surface. They were making great noise about the lunar colonist invading their territory. However, as they all knew, much of Earth ownership law was based upon the presence of inhabitants. Therefore, as long as they continually traversed the area, they were deemed occupants and could lay valid claim. Xu continually pushed the extent of their travels so as to encompass an ever larger region. This seemed to suit Valentina who happily roamed far and wide getting more geological samples. However for Desai, it was a distraction. Much as he lived on the Moon, his focus was still on Earth; especially the terran stock market. Yes, he mainly used his market skills for gains and from them to further the goals of the Lunar Colon Fund. But he was beginning to see that he could also have a global influence on the Earth. He wondered if he would ever have to choose between advancing the colony and supporting the Earth.

With one more, slight tug the old camera came free of the support on the relay station. He was careful not to let it strike the power or communication antennas. He was also careful to add his hardware bridge to the communications network. This small device would encrypt all his digital packages that emanated from an equivalent bridge within the Hab. Though he trusted his fellow colonists with his life, quite literally, he also wanted to have a semblance of real privacy. He silently laughed to himself when he almost dropped the power wrench over the side of the ledge. If it had fallen, it would have stayed where ever it rested. He wasn’t planning on doing any hill descent for some simple little tool.


Dear Fellow Lunar Enthusiasts,

Perhaps not surprisingly, philanthropy got hit hard by the economic downturn in 2008. What does this mean to us? Well, we’re a new fund raiser on the block and we have to shoulder our way in. And as with other institutes, we have to turn pledges into hard revenues so that we can fund a colony. That’s where your help comes in. It’s your face to face meetings that set up the likeliest donation. So, get out there as often as you can and remember, we’re doing this for everyone, not just ourselves.

While we saw some excitement recently occurring in space, there’s little on the lunar front. We’re starting to get images of Pluto and Ceres. As well, sadly, Messenger that’s orbiting Mercury it’s about to take its final spiral into that planet’s surface. so, yes indeed we’re learning more and more about our solar system. Now, what are we going to do with all the knowledge?

Our organization is coming along fine. Our second year sees us building momentum from the first. As always, we’re looking for more supporters and volunteers. Please contact us with any offer for support.

Mark Mortimer

Lunar Colony Fund

What can you imagine here?


Getting the Bucks for Buck Rogers!

Logbook #31


Chapitre 31

Valentina’s hand securely held the seed container as she and Max descended into the colonists’ refuge. Happily, no one had needed to escape into it yet. But they had practised emergency drills to evacuate the Hab and get into the refuge as quickly as possible. Now, she and Max had excused themselves from the party and were bringing the seed container to its resting place well into the lunar crust. As much as the work needed doing, Valentina used it as an excuse to be alone with Max. As everyone knew of her special relationship with him, they were quick to send the two of them on their way.

The lights automatically brightened deep into the refuge as they walked across the threshold. The colonists were nowhere near making the facility into a livable complex but their spacesuits included private two-communications when close enough to each other. This was the best and really only opportunity for them to talk privately. Of course they couldn’t remove the suits and indeed each would return to their own accommodation afterward. Still Valentina took her gloved hand and reached out to grasp Max’s hand. On contact, she felt that same tingle go up her spine that she had felt when they first met some years before. She steered him to the seed chamber, really little more than a hollowed out recess on the side of the main cave. There she placed the container, stood back and took some pictures for logistics sake and walked over to the safety rendezvous point which had a table and some chairs. She sat, waved at Max to join her and put her communications into private mode. Max quickly came up, sat beside and also set his communications to private.

“It’s been far too long a time”, she began.

He replied, “Let’s not talk about regrets. I still live with our memory together as the most meaningful moment of my life. It was brief and all too rushed but I can and do always look back upon it whenever I need a smile and a ray of sunshine to brighten my life. Let’s look to our future instead; about fulfilling our plans”.

“OK” she agreed then smiled and continued, “You’re standing in the nucleus of our future processing hub. On the lunar surface, I’ve found that much like with Earth’s mantle, there are veins and patches of ores with different chemical signatures. I’m developing materials sheet on each main ore type and I’m beginning to combine certain types together. I can only use heat and pressure as a combiner. Water is far too precious. Some are showing good adhesion. Some may have the necessary tensile strength for construction material. However, I need much more sampling data. As we are on a crater rim, I could be sampling the lunar mantle, ejecta from an asteroid impact or even some of the asteroid itself. Still, this baseline gives us the starting point for future industrial applications”.

He warmly smiled back at her and slightly nodded his head in recognition of her accomplishments. He had seen these investigative traits in her long ago and knowingly had seduced her as well as promoted her as a lunar colonist. He hadn’t expected to have become so emotionally involved with her; still he was a business man at heart.

“OK” he answered “I’ve entered the necessary subroutines into the telerobot so that it can help you at the lab bench. I’ll keep the test equipment flowing in with every supply mission. Just keep trying to remember that we need construction material that functions in space as well as on the Moon’s surface. So, let’s keep exploring the options. Just imagine our space traveling torus that’s over a kilometre in diameter. Inside its structure rests all the lunar-fabricated material. That’s the sort of vision that we must work toward.”

They continued chatting about their plans and upon some lighter subjects such as friends and acquaintances far, far away. All too soon both their timers chirped awake. They stood up and silently walked hand in hand for as long as they could until each had to turn toward their own habitation module.