Logbook #38

Lunokhod 2. Lunation 5. Session 2. Panorama 4.
Lunokhod 2. Lunation 5. Session 2. Panorama 4.

Le chapitre 38

Xu rechecked her manifest against the deliveries in their latest supply rocket. Part of her was again amazed at just how much material was needed to ensure their survival over such a short period. The remainder of her was rapidly confirming that each container had arrived and was intact. Even after a few deliveries, surprises kept them on their toes. For instance, the container vessel from the China National Space Administration included a good luck charm that had disintegrated on launch and contaminated the interior. The AgĂȘncia Espacial Brasileira had used a pure oxygen atmosphere inside their cargo container as a way of sending more oxygen to them. However, there was no way to syphon it off so it had escaped directly into space. This time, the delivery was from the Indian Space Research Organization and was, as wonderfully understated by many of her predecessors, nominal.

With a few strokes on the keyboard, she accepted the cargo and instructed the robotic transfer system to relocate the contents to where they were needed at the base. In a slight twist, this container vessel had been designed for re-use. Once empty, the container vessel, or chamber, would be removed from the lander, tilted onto its side and positioned into the entrance-way of their underground shelter. The chamber would become the vestibule and its main role would be as a dust barrier. Given that the walls and ceiling of their excavation had proven to be wonderfully robust, they were looking at making the space a clean room for some lunar industrial fabrication and research. The main goal of the research today was to determine the most efficient way to seal the interior surfaces of their refuge so that they could pressurize it with a breathable atmosphere and thus be able to work in shirt sleeves. Fortunately, the immediate sub-surface of the Moon was close to -35C which had been predicted. Based upon this, they would need very little energy to bring the ambient temperature in the refuge up to a pleasant 20C. Jean had designed a passive, radiant block heater mostly made from local materials. With this, and with the vestibule in place, they will have taken a significant step to achieving Valentina’s design.

Xu smiled inwardly and thought of all the time that the four of them had put into contriving their shelter with enough space and function for their survival but still with some artistic qualities. The prolonged debate between Ionic and Corinthian columns was just one instance of them enjoying the chance to mix pleasure and function. For now though, she had simply to wait until the robots emptied the container vessel before setting the robots onto the task of moving the chamber to the shelter’s entrance.

Having finished accepting the cargo, she could return to her own interests for a brief moment. Chief among them was her desire to smoothly transition the additional two colonists into their lives on the Moon. Part of her imagined the pleasure of two new people sharing their social network. They’d bring with them a new perspective, new desires and new passions. Yet at the same time there’d be new jealousies, new phobias and just plain discontent. The four colonists knew the pool from which the two new colonists were to be drawn. Each of them had their preferences. In a certain way it was almost like dealing with children at pre-school; who will like whom and who will fight with whom. While the final decision would be made by a committee on Earth, the four of them were providing opinions and her’s would probably be the most influential as she was the nominal leader. It felt a bit like she was playing Russian roulette with their future. Some potential candidates had great personal skills and would be wonderful to have with them. Yet they brought very little in the way of new skill sets. Others would fill in some gaping holes in their capability but personality conflicts loomed large. Her first choice was Porthos a general purpose medical doctor from Seville. In addition to being a first class, sought-after practitioner, he was also adept at PCB design and repair, especially for robots. Challenging him was Gyvan, a registered nurse from Manila. He had an incredible wealth of experience in repairing bodies given the civil unrest in the Philippines. But he also had a certain disdain for authority and control. Equally inviting for Xu was Siobhan, a botanist from Cairo who was as comfortable in the Sahara as she was at the Antarctic research stations. She’d bring a lot of ideas and ingenuity and an extremely feminine presence. But Xu had an uneasy feeling about her and no idea as to why. Last in her final four preferences was Murdan, a spiritual healer from Old Delhi. His charism was incredible and he had a vast number of followers both in the Indian sub-continent and throughout the world. Adding him would certainly raise the profile of, and donations to, the Lunar Colony Fund. But Xu wasn’t sure if the benefits would justify the expense. Apparently Murdan had a habit of losing himself into spiritual bliss for hours at a time. This may be inconvenient and possibly even dangerous in their Hab. Nevertheless, Xu was drawn to him, his dreamy eyes and that amazing imagination presumably based upon the Kamasutra. She was going to have to think a little longer before sending her recommendations to the selection committee.


Dear Fellow Lunar Enthusiasts,

Measuring dependencies isn’t easy. Some might say that Greece depends upon the European Union. That dependency may soon see hundreds of billions of dollars simply disappear. Yet both parties should be the better off as each benefits by the association with the other. Now imagine the countries of the world supporting a colony upon the Moon. Sure it’s risky and the dependencies would place upon each a significant responsibility . Yet there are institutes on Earth that can overseer a long term, multi-hundreds of billions of dollars investment and make this dependency advantageous. Can you see how?
It’s been another exciting month for announcements regarding the Moon. First, the new head of ESA wants people to tell him if they want to set up a settlement on the Moon. Next, NASA wants robots on the Moon to set up a colony. Do these announcements seem like wayward institutes just testing the waters? No, like us they know that advancements on the Moon need a source of funds and they’re hoping to get the funds from their political masters. However, we at the Lunar Colony Fund aren’t restricted by today’s political dogma and we know what the water’s like. Yes, we can fund a lunar colony! So keep on supporting us and let’s get this lunar colony happening sooner.
With enjoying a bit of relaxing in the summer Sun here in the northern hemisphere, we’re looking around for other opportunities to increase our membership. If you have any new ideas send them in!

Mark Mortimer

Lunar Colony Fund

What can you imagine here?

Chang-e3 NAOC
Chang’e3 NAOC

Getting the Bucks for Buck Rogers!

Logbook #37


Le chapitre 37

The idea of a day of work during the night time kept confusing Jean. His circadian rhythm was so strong that he felt compelled to say awake as long as the Sun shone even if it did so on the Moon for 14 Earth-days straight. Once it set however he felt like going into semi-hibernation as the Sun disappeared for another 14 Earth-days. Oddly enough, while he couldn’t see the Sun during the night time, he could see the reflection of the Sun against some other lunar peaks so it wasn’t completely dark. But without any atmosphere, there was no twilight on the Moon. So with the Sun rotated out of view, he was left in the complete darkness of space. It was no wonder that he wanted to high tail it back to the Hab and watch something comforting on their video screen. He sighed again as he stepped further into their safety shelter.

Xu chirped up, “Hey big fellah. Feeling OK out there?”.

“Nothing to worry about” replied Jean, “I’ve just got another feeling of isolation. As if I were the only one in the universe. I’m glad you’re there” he said.

“I know the feeling” Xu warmly responded with all her heart. “I’ve felt the same myself, especially when the Earth’s globe swings by my eyes. But I just remember the great friends that I’ve got with me here and my heart does a little smile.”

Jean smiled to himself. He knew that Xu didn’t always get her English correct but he also didn’t care. Her heart was always in the right place and she always said just the thing to keep him going.

“You’ll get warm by keeping in motion so step it up” she quipped “I think Desai got us a surprise for dinner tonight”.

Jean knew all about Desai’s surprises and they were usually both a visual and aromatic treat. His last was for each of them a bowlful of pudding that had four individual colours. No one knew how he had kept the colours separate in the bowl but he had! The brown was chocolate, the yellow banana and the green lime. Neither was anyone quite certain the flavour of the fourth, the orange. Xu thought a melon. Valentina thought of a lychee. While Jean’s mind came up with asparagus flavoured pumpkin. Desai had only laughed and refused to answer their questions no matter how imploring. Jean happily now had this image in his mind and he headed further in to the sub-surface of the safety shelter.

Their shelter layout was getting a little more particular. At the bottom of the stairs was an area for a portal. The portal would be a primary barrier to keep dust out and atmosphere inside. After the portal, a tube would direct people straight through to another portal. This second portal was a backup for the first and a security barrier to keep nearly everything unwanted out; including aliens! He laughed to himself. Stepping a bit further along, he came to the antechamber. The closest Earth-room that came to his mind was a mud room. In the antechamber, people could remove their spacesuits and external clothing and recover their inside clothing. Their measurements indicated a relatively constant heat of about -30C so he and the other colonist were designing interior spaces to accommodate this cold but quite livable temperature within the shelter.

He finally reached the very back of the shelter in the place he had nicknamed the Vault. It was to be the equipment room for the first level of chambers. It would contain power storage, general supplies and conduits for all the liquids and gases that would be needed throughout. Today it was little more than a shallow excavation and some collected material stored on hand carts. This was the colonists’ current emergency supply for when the Sun shown too brightly. As they practised a few times already, they could all get to the Vault from the Hab in less than two hours. Sadly, it only took eight minutes for the Sun’s photons to travel to the Moon. So far they had been lucky. He and his companions knew that one bad forecast from the Earth scientists and they’d be done; they knew that they just didn’t have the time to get to the Vault. He held his sigh so that Xu wouldn’t hear him and tell him not to worry. They all worried but it was just one of the many risks that they were continually trying to manage. This thought together with the blackness of the lunar night and the enclosing darkness of the Vault all put a strain on his soul.