Upon relaying today’s news that the United States plans to build a permanent base on the moon, the BBC decided to give us a short, visual history of variously imagined moon bases, as drawn by unnamed artists.
In the article itself, we learn that NASA thinks “the best approach is to develop a solar-powered moon base and to locate it near one of the poles of the moon – such as the Shackleton Crater near the South Pole.” There, the base “will serve as a science centre and possible stepping stone for manned missions to Mars.” It will also serve as an off-world prison for the – wait –
Of course, a permanent lunar base will have the added benefit of “expand[ing] Earth’s economic sphere” – something the Russians already seem to have realized.
I’m just waiting to see their first postage stamp. And their flag. And the first moon-born baby – who will grow up to lead a death cult in the deserts of western China. And then the first moon war…
Before the big day when BLDGBLOG wins a three-month residency for lunacy in architectural research…
(See also Lunar urbanism 7 and so on).
8 thoughts on “Lunar urbanism 8”
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Thanks, orangemenace – I’ll check it out.
yes, and the civil war after the gravity tax revolts…
Is anyone else reminded, almost exactly, of the book “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” by Robert Heinlein? One can only imagine what Heinlein might say.
Can you say: ‘Weaponization of space?’
I thought you could.
And anyway: Bush talked about going to Mars last time. How quickly did that idea die?
Heinlein wrote that novel before the 1st lunar landing… Substitute water for helium 3 and presto!
So far, no one’s mentioned putting any BlueGenes up there… yet…
And then the first moon war…
The Americans, the Russians, and now the Chinese* — nobody’s got a horse yet, but the lunar land rush is a go! Yee-haul your little nomex-clad rear ends up yonder before somebody else stakes a claim!
Unfortunately, three’s a crowd. In Encyclopedia Astronautica‘s list of proposed Lunar Bases, the US Army’s 1959 Horizon Lunar Outpost included preparations for lunar warfare:
In designing the base, Wernher von Braun appointed Heinz Koelle to head the project team at Redstone Arsenal. Spacecraft components would be lofted in 147 Saturn C-I and C-II booster launches, and then assembled in low earth orbit at an austere spent-tank space station. A Lunar landing and return vehicle would shuttle up to sixteen astronauts at a time to the base and back.
Construction would begin in April 1965 and the base was to become operational by December 1966 at Sinus Aestuum or Mare Imbrium. The base would be defended against Russian overland attack by man-fired weapons – unguided Davy Crockett rockets with low-yield nuclear warheads, and conventional claymore mines modified to puncture pressure suits.
Once you find a nice piece of real estate, you’ve gotta build a fort.
(*Note that part of China’s Moon plan is to transmit solar-generated electricity back home via microwaves. Now we know what the Beijing Stadium‘s open metal framework is really for.)
Those of you looking for the perfectly inspiring and highly intelligent series of comments here about whether or not the BBC used the word “centre” (not “center”) in this article… sorry. Those comments are gone.