Jean was rooting around the backyard again. For him, the back yard was the area between the Hab and a slight rise of ground that began a few hundred metres beyond the Hab’s living quarters. Back at home in the USA, his house’s backyard had led into a natural ravine that kept a lot of local animals and plants safely removed from the city’s human inhabitants. Sure the local kids would sometimes hang out there but they never gave him any cause for concern. While his yearning for unhindered exploration had been met by the occasional wandering in the ravine, now, he had a whole planet in his sights.
Yet, while he enjoyed his wanderings, he did have a purpose. He was undertaking a fine-grid geological survey of the top lunar dust layer. By getting hand measured ground truth data they could associate satellite sensor measurements with greater accuracy. This data was the beginning of the assessment of the worth of mining on the Moon. They believed that as Earth had worthwhile mineral deposits at many meteorite strikes then the Moon should should have accessible material at its strikes. The resulting ore could be sold for either contributing to other space efforts or for contributing to Earth endeavours. Oddly, while he enjoyed exploring, he had a natural tendency to revere ‘Mother Earth’ and he wanted to provide to those moribund upon its surface. He knew that he’d do anything to keep himself and his fellow colonists alive. Though he wouldn’t do so at the expense of those on Earth. Rather than worry though he simply wandered about taking measurements which satisfied him just fine.
Inside the Hab, Valentina recorded the data measured by Jean together with his verbal description. This ground truth would serve them well in the future. But it would also be a source of income to the colonists as they could sell it to researchers on Earth. Jean kept up his jovial humming and singing. To Valentina they both seemed to include many references to food. “Must be getting close to lunch time” she thought.
Desai’s feelings of megalomania started to toy with his imagination again. As much as he lived on a separate planet, as they affectionately considered the Moon, they still had a strong reliance upon Earth for basic life support needs. Yet here he was developing ways and means to control the Earth population via their food supply. With his detached frame of reference circling high above the Earth’s surface, he sometimes couldn’t help but feel like a lord over all the little creatures so far below.
With assured hand strokes, he manipulated the computer’s keyboard and prepared his first test of control. Another drought was forming in the Midwest of North America. Exacerbating this loss of future food supply was an unforeseen drawdown in the world’s stores of grains, partly his doing. Now, he set in motion events that would cumulate in employee strife at the majority of the large fertilizer production plants. Such was the dreams of his desire, a perfect tempest of the hungry who would demand supply which couldn’t be met. He perused the financial markets for other opportunities. His successes in Zimbabwe had him looking south into the veldt of South Africa as potential for some genetically modified corn one of his laboratories had designed. Sure corn wasn’t native to the African continent but that didn’t mean he couldn’t terraform the planet to his heart’s desire. After all, if he was to survive on the Moon, he needed the assurance that the Earth could support both itself and the Moon colony. “If this came at the expense of some divergence in the evolutionary trail then so be it.” he thought.
He caught an image of Valentina in the reflection off the computer monitor. They were alone in the Hab and Valentina had prepared an exceptional encounter for him. Using some extra material and benefiting from the lower gravity, they were going to sample a few techniques in pleasure that just couldn’t be duplicated on Earth. He closed down his encrypted data stream to the Earth net, smiled and happily turned to go into Valentina’s awaiting arms
Some of the simplest ideas become the inspiration for a donation campaign. For guys, imagine something as trivial and satisfying as not having to shave every day. Sure, you may get some hassle. But, your mornings are so much simpler. Top it off with fund raising and you get a winner. Now think of Movember, a month long campaign to raise money while not shaving. Sure it sounds simplistic but some participants were able to individually raise over $100,000 in one short month. All that was needed was a good idea and some great supporters.
While the planet Mars still reigns supreme as the destination of choice for dreamers, the practically minded amongst us still think that a base station on the Moon is the way to go. Both the Chinese rover and the USAs orbiter keep busy. Imagine volcanism on the Moon only 100 million years ago. And with India displaying its space faring prowess, we know that space truly is opening up to everyone.
We at the Lunar Colony Fund are celebrating our first year of activity. We have made many out reach opportunities and have talked to many people who are fascinated with the idea. Our challenge remains to convince them that moving our society into space will not happen through big government. It will be the individuals, you and I, who will be making this happen. Get the word our, talk to others, and sign up more members for the Fund!
With a shiver of excitement Valentina slipped on the first layer of the egress suit. Valentina could barely wait . She had Xu’s final OK that her leg was healed and that she was fit to travel the surface again. She didn’t even mind that cautious Xu was coming along with her. Both of them were keen on seeing the progress made to their underground shelter and this tangible evidence of their existence made for a giddy expedition.
Valentina watched as Xu exited the transfer module and the door slid shut behind. She entered and waited for the module to purge the contents. Shortly the lights changed to green and the exterior door slid open in front of here. She lightly trod down each step, feeling graceful as a ballerina even though her suit almost doubled her body mass. It felt good to be roaming free on the surface again. There was no air to brush against her face or a bright sun in a blue sky to brighten her path. But through her visor she could again feel the grandeur of the scene that the Hab’s cameras just couldn’t capture. She moved up to join with Xu and carefully took Xu’s gloved hand into her own. Putting their communications into private mode, she thanked Xu for her help in recovering her leg’s strength and for her tenderness in nurturing her spirit. Deep down, she was incredibly thankful that Xu with all her oddities about karma and tranquility was part of and indeed leading her team. Her peaceful demeanor had been a source of strength for Valentina. They comfortably walked together toward the shelter’s entrance. They saw, rising out of the regolith, humanity’s first structure upon another world. It was awe inspiring even though somewhat trivial. The structure itself came about from Valentina’s forced stay in the Hab. She had stumbled upon the perfect construction design. Surprisingly, the dry dusty air of the Moon was very similar to the Earth’s Arctic in which the team had spent some weeks training. There, the Innuit built igloos out of dry ice. By carefully shaping each block, they could build a structure without the need of cement. Using the same principles, Valentina had slowly sintered bricks at the Hab and gotten Woof to carry the bricks and build an igloo shaped structure. In front of her and Xu was the result; a low rounded entrance that would provide some protection against solar winds. Valentina smiled as they approached. Her design had survived a number of minor Moon-quakes and looked fine. She could feel the vibrations from the rock borer that was underneath the igloo like entrance. If the entrance and the shelter proved structurally sound, it would be the first significant step in forming the Moon’s surface to support a human colony.
As they approached, Valentina was positively beaming and her pleasure showed through the suit’s faceplate. She turned to Xu and they gave each other a high-five. Their long term survival required the ability to use resources on the Moon and this structure justified part of this expectation. Valentina approached closer and began taking stress and strain measurements about its base.