Logbook #79

Xu’s fingers collected together and gently pressed upon the Enter key on the keyboard. She saw the screen go dark. Her chat session had ended. As with the other colonists, she had the ability to hold private communications with anyone on the Moon or on the Earth. Her latest just ended. It had been with the secretariat of a group of investment bankers. The conversation had been dire. All about profits smaller than forecast and losses greater than expected. But the conversation hadn’t been directed at their adventure on the Moon. The chat topic had been a general overview of the Earth’s economy.

In her mind, she repeated many of the verbal expressions she had heard. She tasted the nuances. Rolled syllables and stressed accents when repeating words spoken as the speaker had. From it, she didn’t sense any pretence or menace. Neither was there a sensation of a threat or warning. Yet the thrust of the conversation was obvious. The Earth’s economy was continuing to deflate. It was steadily marching toward the end of the service economy. The service economy had replaced the production economy. The production economy had replaced the simple barter economy. However, nothing was replacing the service economy. The best that the secretariat hoped for was a long period of nil inflation. It would be a period having very little demand for production, construction or invention. From it, Xu conferred that the conversation’s overall message was to aim for steady state, a need to keep things moribund.

On the positive side, she accepted that the lunar colony existed within the continuum. As such she expected the secretariat to continue supporting it. On the negative side she knew that any requests by the Lunar Colony Fund to speed up construction or enlarge work scope would likely be met with a very quick refusal. Further, it was possible that a risk once realised would overwhelm the perceived resources and put an end to their lunar dreams.

While much of this perception of the economy was not new, the chat left her with a heightened sense of unease.

“Zara,” she enquired “remind me, why are we doing this?”

Zara looked down and then up with a look of confusion on her face. “We’re doing this to improve the process for extracting water from the surface rocks.” she replied.

“No, not why are we doing this chemical analysis. Look at the bigger picture. Why are we trying to live on the Moon? Our bodies were made for living on Earth. There they’d grow free and easy. They’re adapted to the gravity, to the air, to the ecosystem. Yet here on the Moon we are imprisoned within a metal tube. Nothing is either free or easy. Nothing is natural about our existence.” she paused.

“You certainly start big conversations in a quick way” Zara said. “Let me try to answer. I find when looking at the bigger picture that I have to look from a reference much grander than myself. It’s not about me sitting at this table. It’s not about us living in the Hab. It is about humanity making its first step off of Earth. It’s a trial. If we can survive then we can consider the limits of the universe as being the limits to humankind’s opportunity. If we can’t survive then the human race accepts that while we live on Earth freely and easily, the Earth is our prison. A prison that won’t let us ever leave.”

“That’s an interesting and yet very appropriate perspective for us here on the Moon. We represent the very limits of humanity. Not only do we determine if the human race is capable of surviving off planet Earth, we also determine if the human race has the desire. What is the limit to humanity’s desires? Do we want to live forever? Do we want to travel the stars? Can you even identify a desire for all of humanity?” Xu had many questions.

“I like where you’re going with this. What a great question. How do we identify humanity’s desires? Sure we understand personal desire personal. Individually, we want to be safe, we want to live in comfort, we want progeny. Where do we want to go as a group? Does the group have the same desires? And should we only direct our efforts to these desires? I must admit, my personal desire has been instrumental in getting me onto the Moon. I’ve just accepted that having people on the Moon is the logical next step so I haven’t really thought about why. Should we be concerned?”

“No. There’s nothing really to worry about. I just finished a chat with a person who seemed that today was OK but that tomorrow, at best, would be no different. As if humanity on Earth was settling down. Whatever that means. If people on Earth decide that the status quo is good enough then they could very likely define desires to minimize change. This could be in conflict with our situation on the Moon as here we’re all about change. Personally, I’m hoping that humanity continues to see the value in pushing frontiers.”

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Bulletin #57

Dear Fellow Lunar Enthusiasts,

If one believed in plans and predictions then we’re almost there. If you don’t then we’re still stuck in the morass of desire without substance. Lately, seems every nation with space capability has the Moon in their target. Major players are vouchsafing the return of humans. But traveling to the Moon is expensive. Are constituents ready to foot the bill? How do you believe they will vote and express their preference when the time comes?

NASA, the traditional space leader, wants a sustained human return to the moon. CNSA is aiming for the ‘dark’ side of the Moon and both lunar poles. Roscomos and ESA bespoke a lunar village. ISRO equally wants to take part. These account for most of humanity as well as for most of the global GDP. The desire seems there. But is there enough momentum to a gateway to the stars?

We at the Lunar Colony Fund agree that a future in space is essential for the survival of people on Earth. Yes, it will be expensive. And yes, it will be costly for many, many years. However, it is the only direction for expansion. Join us and let’s make it happen.

 

Mark Mortimer

President

Lunar Colony Fund

What can you imagine here;

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Logbook #78

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“Now where on Earth would they be going?” Valentina mused to herself. She was watching a live stream of a mass of humanity. They appeared to be purposefully, powerfully walking. As if all were trying to leave an inhospitable home. At the same time. With nothing but the clothes on their backs. None showed a pretense of purpose or a clear idea of where to go or what to do upon getting there. Just a throng. Following the loudest exalter. Who preached of a better place. All quite oblivious to the notion that the Earth had filled up. The Earth had nowhere to migrate. The Earth was full.

She sighed and looked around her. The desk and the walls were covered with graphics and images of the lunar surface. Many pictures showed her friends. Digging in. Building a livable accommodation. Establishing the roots of a colony. So few but yet each critical in the shaping of a new home for humanity.

The pictures struck her as being in stark contrast to the images from stories by Herodotus. These glorified the adventurer. The Greek youth who’d set out, carefree and easy, sailing about the Mediterranean looking for a place to build a house and call home. Even then the prime locations on the shores of the Mediterranean were already occupied. Sometimes the youth built a home in a less-desirable region. Other times they simply got absorbed into the local community.

Neither option was available to the colonists on the Moon. The colonists couldn’t live off the land. They could only survive in the artificial environment being built using material from the Earth. No lunar pictures had a backdrop showing an ocean side, a range of trees or even a blue sky. She doubted that Herodotus would understand the complexity of the lunar endeavour. But she was sure that he would understand the rationale.

“Hey Max” she shouted. “Have you been watching any of the news feeds?”

“Why” he answered while toweling himself dry and sauntering into the office with nothing on but a smile.

“It’s showing a large mass of people from the Transvaal. The climate there has pushed arid to the extreme. They are heading south to find cooler land. But they’re pretty close to the southern limit of the continent. Where on Earth do you think they’re going?”

“It’s a pretty rough show over there” Max replied. “I’ve heard that food prices vary faster than the weather. Sometimes when the harvest is good, the prices are high. Sometimes when there’s no harvest, the prices are low. I suspect that those people are following an illusory promise of better living to the south. Not sure why though. Living isn’t easy anywhere. Especially when basics like food aren’t reliably available.”

“I’ve noticed the same thing” continued Valentina. “It’s not just southern Africa. Food prices seem to be out of whack over much of the world. Rice prices in the orient fluctuate wildly. The cost of grain in North America is more a guessing game than anything based upon capitalism. And potatoes! Usually a staple for nearly half the planet, potatoes surge from overabundance to a blighted dearth. With prices that make no sense.”

“Yah, I’d noticed similar on occasion. Maybe governments are trying to manipulate their citizens to go to particular locations. Or maybe the global conglomerates are flexing their muscle. Whichever it is, let’s hope that it remains focused upon the Earth. Our lunar build-out plans need a predictable resource base. We can’t support our colonists if the world food supply becomes unstable.”

They stared at the screen in silence for a little while longer. Each wondering if this was an isolated instance of a small group of people looking for a better lifestyle. Or if it was the start of a general reshaping of civilization. And if a reshaping then a reshaping into what?

Valentina closed the video stream and strode over to the window. Outside she saw the bright blue sky dotted with some clouds. Birds flitted amongst the branches. Lush grass spread across the fields right up to the nearby forest.

“Was that natural beauty” she thought “or was she encased in an artificial bubble as extreme as the Hab on the Moon?” She wasn’t sure she wanted to know the answer.

Bulletin #56

Dear Fellow Lunar Enthusiasts,

Capitalism emphasizes the economic value of activities. A consumer usually benefits as they can choose and thus influence industry. Which can lead to products better suited to their liking. In the common marketplace, capitalism may be best. But what of the uncommon marketplace? Such as a rocket flight that costs hundreds of millions of dollars? Is capitalism sufficient for this or is there need of another method to lead industry and build infrastructure?

The Chinese seem to be approaching their space business with open arms. They’ve set their upcoming space station as being for all countries of the United Nations. Will this mean that countries will be choosing between the Gaganyaan, Lunar Gateway or Tiangong? Further, will every country need its own geographical positioning system? Is this the sort of competition needed to drive space commerce? Is there enough investment capital for all?

How do you want the future to unfold? Do you want one with several weak attempts at space colonization? Or do you prefer a few strong pathways? Or even one? Join us and let’s find the optimal.

 

Mark Mortimer

President

Lunar Colony Fund

What can you imagine here;

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