There was a book I read as a child about a teenager whose parents forced her to move to the moon, leaving all her friends behind. It was a lonely, cold existence on that colony, until, of course, a cute boy came along. After that, pioneer life didn’t seem so tough.
Paula Danziger, author of “This Place Has No Atmosphere” is hardly the first author to speculate about life in space. Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich wrote about his lunar longings in “Window of Opportunity: A Blueprint for the Future,” back in 1984.
Ever since, as Foreign Policy’s Charles Homains reports, the space plan has popped up every time the former speaker of the House has entered the orbit of American politics. Only this time, the plans are being greeted with rounds of thunderous applause as Gingrich makes the rounds in NASA-friendly Florida.
Even though no man has been on the moon since 1972, it’s not a far-fetched idea. Lunar colonies have been tossed around by science fiction writers and scientists alike. Under George W. Bush, NASA began working on a plan to start a lunar base before budgetary woes got in the way. If Gingrich gets his way, though, keep in mind it would not be an American base — despite his promise in Florida that “By the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the moon and it will be American.”
A 1967 treaty requires that all space exploration be undertaken for mankind — not for any one particular nation.
Just last week, Russian news agencies reported that Russia’s Federal Space Agency is working toward the possibility of manned research colonies on the moon, or space stations in lunar orbit. So what seemed a farflung future to me in junior high may not be so distant a thing.
That being said, would you move to the moon? What would your lunar colony need?
Not-really-at-all tangentially-related song: