Logbook #14


Le chapitre 14

Jean couldn’t quite believe he was hopping about the Moon’s surface on his own. He wasn’t really alone as Woof rolled along on a parallel route. Of course the eyes in the sky, the orbiting situation assessment satellites (OBSAS) were also tracking his every move. Still, no other person was anywhere close. And, he could say that he was the first person to have ever walked here. It was a truly astounding, surreal sensation for him.

He had become the most adept of all of them in transiting over the surface. His laid back lifestyle and slow reactions wonderfully suited the lack of air pressure and much lesser gravity. To move, he firmly placed each foot, got his balance, judged his destination’s distance and let his legs propel him. He didn’t really think about the motion as a few weeks of activity on the surface had got him pretty accustomed. Now, rocks and outcropping a metre high did not even slow him down. He could also smoothly ascend and descend gentle gradients and he was trying steeper slopes though he was in no hurry to find his limits.

Today he and Woof were looking at a nearby crevasse. It had stopped Woof’s assaying and Valentina wanted to know if Jean could descend into the crevasse and get a cross sectional assessment of the rock structure. Being that the Hab was situated on a crater rim, the only real direction for them was down, but the colonists were approaching any elevation changes very warily. They wanted to be certain of not falling all the way down and also of being able to climb back out from any descent. They’d already stretched their safety margin with Valentina’s accident and Xu had forbidden any of them from taking optional risks until their next resupply vessel had safely delivered its cargo. Therefore, Jean’s first foray to the crevasse was to get a more accurate assessment of its shape; its width, depth and slope. He liked exploring, especially when he could do so at his own pace.

“Maybe this was how Christopher Columbus felt” he thought.

The edge of the crevasse neared. As always, he was a little unsure of the actual distance as almost nothing gave him perspective. Woof was rolling along a little ahead, as had been ordered by Xu. Woof’s transmitter gave a continual update on the ground’s slope and the distance to the apparent edge of the crevasse. For a robot, it seemed almost eager. Jean followed it, shuffling his feet through the dust. Bouncing toes off the occasional rock. The crevasse was just ahead.


Dear Fellow Lunar Enthusiasts,

To think that it was 45 years ago that humans first stepped onto the Moon’s surface. We’ve sent probes to visit so many other features of the solar system and even out past the heliopause. Yet, we’ve returned to complacently stare up at that night-time shining orb and wonder “Will we ever leave this cradle of humanity?” Surely we won’t leave all the fun to the robots. Let’s keep working to get people to be part of future as well.

We at the Lunar Colony Fund undertook a great outreach opportunity at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. Through it, many more people have joined us to show their support for a space faring future for our species. We have quite a way to go to reach our goal for the first building block on the Moon but we are making steps to get there. Continue to show your support for our venture wherever you can. Don’t forget to keep up with the progress of our fictional colonists. And I look forward to your continued help in gathering support and signing new members.

Mark Mortimer
Lunar Colony Fund

What can you imagine here?


Getting the Bucks for Buck Rogers!

Logbook #13


Le chapitre 13

A routine slowly returned as Valentina regained her strength. She accommodated her reduced mobility by keeping very busy within their living quarters. She took on all the menial chores; planning meals, cleaning surfaces, routine maintenance and Earth communications. She was also getting quite adroit at disappearing into the background. Especially when Xu was nearby.

With time on her hands and a leg to heal, Valentina looked for opportunities within her reach. She was becoming a master at manipulating their external robot, that they’ve affectionately called Woof as if it were a pet dog. She had been using Woof to inspect the immediate lay of the land centring on their habitation module and slowly travelling in spiralling circles outwards. The occasional crevasse was causing problems. But otherwise she’d completed visual inspections of the complete region. Other sensors recorded the Sun’s reflections off the surface in various bandwidths. With this and vast numbers of assaying, she’d almost mapped the surface geology out past a radial kilometre.

The routine was simple. Woof would regularly carry the assay samples back to the habitation module and deposit them into the transfer chamber. Minutes later, Valentina had them in her hand and she carried them over to the lab bench and began the chemistry assessments. Her goal was to find a construction medium like the bricks used so ubiquitously on Earth. She lacked fluid and a convenient binder such as lime but she was learning to use energy from the Sun as a sintering agent. By heating a few milligrams she could estimate the structural integrity and strength. So far, she’d made at most, some cubes about the size of Lego blocks. Soon though she was going to send Woof out with a much larger home-made, or really a Hab-made sintering ‘oven’ to make a useful brick like a cinder block.

With any luck, soon Xu would let her try standing on her leg and having short walks inside the hab.

“That’d be an excellent step in the right direction.” she thought with a certain amount of impatience. She wanted to be outside. She wanted progress and she wasn’t getting that by rolling around the Hab.

Logbook #12


Le chapitre 12

Of all the new experiences on the Moon, Jean enjoyed this one the most. He carefully removed his glove to expose his hand to the emptiness of space. Bending, he ran his fingers through the sharp shards of lunar regolith. From decades of working with his hands, Jean had built up calluses and extremely thick skin. While he felt the shards as a tingling sensation, no pain ensued. He then took an anti-static cloth from his belt, gently cleaned off his hand and reattached his glove. With a soft swoosh sound, he knew that the internal air pressure had extended back into his glove and his hand was fully protected again. He realized it was a ridiculously risky luxury but whenever he did this, he imagined being back on Earth, on a beach, seeing the Sun’s rays trace shadows across boulders and cliff walls. Though these were great memories, he was continually grateful and thankful of his opportunity on the Moon.

However, life had not always been this pleasant; it was actually pretty rough when they first had landed. The four of them were sharing a space not much larger than his garage back home on Earth. He had worried a bit about that during the training on Earth. While he wasn’t a particularly possessive person, he did like claiming his space, his tools and his responsibilities. Also, he wasn’t too keen on semi-public showering and toileting. Yet, all four of them seemed to have quickly settled into a routine that kept everyone comfortable. He kept his personal needs to a few predictable times. Usually when he started toward the shower, the others had already made themselves busy at the other end of the room, especially the ladies. He wasn’t a prude but there were some things that his mother had taught him were just to be kept private. Still, they had all taken to wearing minimal clothing so there weren’t many secrets between them. At first he considered this risqué.

“Were we all exhibitionists?” he wondered to himself.

But the practicalities of their environment and the necessity for minimal personal effects at launch hadn’t given them abundant wardrobe alternatives. Yes, at times the living was rough like when he had gone camping with his Scout troop he thought. But it wasn’t all difficult or unpleasant.

Happily, some parts of his new life were kind of nice. For instance, he enjoyed having complete control over their air quality. They could regulate the temperature, the humidity and even the smell. On his turns, he’d chosen to wake to air that was slightly cool with a hint of dampness and the smell of fresh cut hay tingling at the back of his nose. Funny he thought, “he’d never lived on a farm and had stayed at farm houses only a few times.”

Because of where his work took him, he’d spent most of his time in towns and cities. Still, rising out of his cot in the habitat module to that atmosphere put a huge smile on his face and got him ready to face anything coming his way.

And that smile had come in handy a few times already. The first few days had been an abrupt and crucially quick learning experience. Their habitat was functioning on their arrival but they noticed little glitches all about. Lights didn’t work. Air vents were quiet. Wire tracings didn’t match the schematics. And so on. Most concerning were the air-alarms. These initiated with a low, audible siren-like noise and a slow flashing of yellow strip lights. Both the siren’s frequency and the intensity of the lights increased as the internal air pressure dropped. Perhaps a micrometeorite had struck or a joint had separated. In any case, immediate attention was demanded.

Yet, all this fuss and bother was nirvana to him. His tool case was extraordinary; everything he needed was at hand and their quality was impeccable. He had quickly set up a maintenance log for them to enter problems and requests. He thought ruefully of his dad’s ‘honey-do’ pot that his mom had kept full and he realised he was recreating the same thing; but on a computer and on a distant planet (as they called the Moon)! Nevertheless, via his scheduling, things got done. Crises such as loss of air or leakage of water got immediate attention, often with many helping hands as their survival depended upon the air and water supply. But, Jean and the other three found that the life-critical alarms were few. Happily, as expected, he had his honey-do pot to fill his day and his own appreciation of their importance to prioritize each. He got things back to their nominal working condition and occasionally made improvements to accommodate unforeseen effects of the low gravity, no-atmosphere conditions on the Moon. Yes, Jean was more than content; he was thinking his life was fulfilled in this stark, new environment.

He finished crawling out from underneath the habitat. His flexible suit made this possible where the Apollo astronauts in their suits had barely been able to bend at the waist. He straightened and took a last, pleased look at his repair work; the rerouted cabling and the new nameplates. He’ll update the drawings once he was back at his workstation in the habitat.

He thought, “Another great job by Jean the go-to-guy!”.

He smiled, turned and began the short walk back to the airlock, only slightly looking forward to the simple, slow but lengthy process that took him from the ‘great outdoors’ back into the shirt-sleeve environment of the habitat module.