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Welcome back to our series on Colonizing the Solar System! Today, we take a look at that closest of celestial neighbors to Earth. That’s right, we’re taking a look at the Moon!
Chances are, we’ve all heard about it more than once in our lifetimes and even have some thoughts of our own on the subject. But for space agencies around the world, futurists, and private aerospace companies, the idea of colonizing the Moon is not a question of “if”, but “when” and “how”. For some, establishing a permanent human presence on the Moon is a matter of destiny while for others, it’s a matter of survival.
Settlement - Predate - Moon - Landing - Space
Not surprisingly, plans for establishing a human settlement predate both the Moon Landing and the Space Race. In the past few decades, many of these plans have been dusted off and updated thanks to plans for a renewed era of lunar exploration. So what would it take to establish a permanent human presence on the Moon, when could it happen, and are we up to that challenge?
Even before proposals were being made for lunar colonies, the idea of humanity living on the Moon was explored extensively in fiction, with examples going back over a century. In addition, there was considerable speculation as late as the early 20th century that the Moon may be already inhabited by indigenous lifeforms (much like what was believed about Mars).
Examples - Fiction
Examples in Fiction:
Between the 1940s and 1960s, science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein wrote extensively about the first voyages and eventual colonization of the Moon. These included multiple short stories from the 1940s that describe what life would be like in settlements on “Luna” (the name commonly used by Heinlein to describe a colonized Moon.
Heinlein - Hugo - Award-winning - Novel - Moon
In 1966, Heinlein released the Hugo Award-winning novel, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, which tells the...
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