Settling on the Moon

I saw an article in the news the other day about the Japanese moon landing. Part of the aticle said it was a precursor to creating a settlement on the moon constructing buildings from materials found on the moon’s surface.

I find myself wondering how arcades, entertainment lounges, laboratories and administrative offices might stand up to being built of cream cheese. The original Pie in the Sky.

However there is a serious note to this post.

Wherever on the Moon a settlement is placed the settlement itself will be in darkness for a portion of each lunar cycle. At New Moon the lit surface of the Moon faces away from the Earth while at full Moon the lit surface faces the Earth full on. In between, as we know, the lit surface grows, with more of the face facing the Earth becoming lit, only to shrink away on passing full. This has the effect of a 20 day sunrise and setting for the community there. The remaining 8 days will be effectively in darkness.

I wonder the effect on the body and consequently on the mental health of anyone living in such an environment. I cannot believe it will be healthy at all.

And what of settling on a Moon of Jupiter, as has been suggested so often in science fiction novels and movies? In place of the Sun as a dominant force there will be Jupiter booming away in the face of the settlers. They won’t suffer from Sunburn but from Jupiter-burn, or gain a jovial tan. The Sun will be relegated to a small light in the distant sky with many of the other Moons of Jupiter being yet more visible than the Star itself.

I mention this only in terms of mental balance and wonder what consideration has been given to this in the scientific communities who seem so ready to throw money into the sky, while turning their backs on the world in which we all currently live.

Author: Keith Armstrong

Dance teacher, writer, film-maker, educationalist, enthusiast.