EVA Interviews The Moon

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Welcome to this next, unique edition of EVA Interviews: The Business of the New Space Age™. This conversation started on a cold winter day in January over 2 years ago. A friend of mine at NASA asked me to look over a matrix he was creating on commercial lunar opportunities. Could I think of any other potential businesses that might become economically viable within his planning time horizons, any other ideas that he might be missing? After giving my own feedback, I suggested to him that I talk to “the source” to see what more I could learn. This interview starts with those questions. 

 

In the FAQs for EVA Interviews: The Business of the new Space Age™, remembering this conversation and thinking about a few other unusual ideas I had for interviewees, I included this disclaimer * While the main focus will be economic, we reserve the right to present the occasional fictitious, frivolous or marginally related interview. With that in mind (and with the risk of looking foolish), on a clear night recently, I went back to continue the conversation and expand it into an interview.  

 

I hope you will enjoy this conversation with one of my favourite evening (and very occasionally, daytime) companions – our Moon. 

 

***** January 2007 ***** 

 

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EVA:       So, my beautiful Moon, what will we be doing on you in @ 15-25 years from now?  

The Moon:       You’re coming to visit me? 

 

EVA:       Well maybe not me personally but humans/people. 

The Moon:       Well it would be wonderful if you came too. I have places I know you’d love to see…           (Note: The Moon and I think highly of one another and in talking to me, he often has a very silly sense of humor….) 

The Moon:       In about 20 years? Well I guess you’ll be here a bit before that and most of the initial years will be spent getting more informed about me. You’ll see what I’m made of (not green cheese, as you are well aware!), have a number of things you assume confirmed and have yet more questions raised. You’ll discover properties about me you didn’t know existed. And that’s just on the uh bright side. (Really, my dark side isn’t sooo bad!) 

I know what you’re thinking – am I just a stepping stone that you will desert (haha) again, or is there more to your visit than that? 

Once here, you will stay or some of you will. You will learn how to survive and thrive on me. But I am also a stepping stone and you will learn much from your visits to me for your trips beyond to Mars, asteroids and likely Saturn and Jupiter moons. (Please note – “I” am capitalized – they are not.) 

Many of you will come to visit, to sightsee and to play. You will develop sports and other pastimes to do here – some kind of dust sledding will be popular and a bizarre new version of golf – you’ll need carts (oops – buggies) for this game! It will give “longest drive” a whole new meaning. 

You will love the view. 

You will do astronomy and learn more about the stars and our solar system. You’ll continue your radio searches for life elsewhere. 

You will mine – and there will be more minerals than just the platinum/palladium/ helium3 that are discussed most frequently. 

You will manufacture goods here and ship them back to Earth. It may take a little while but commerce/trade will develop between Earth and my surface. 

 

EVA:       Some people think you shouldn’t be mined? 

The Moon:       Don’t be silly. I’m barren. What’s mine is yours – hahahaha.  

Mining me is something you will definitely want to do!  You will also learn how to process my minerals here, on me. This will increase as time progresses. Finished products will be created here. Some will be used here, or in Space and some will also be exported back to Earth. Eventually all industries hazardous to Earth’s atmosphere, climate or environment will be conducted either on me or in Space itself. 

 

EVA:      What else will we do? 

The Moon:       Some of you will live here and raise families. Many of you will continue to be intrigued with me and will study me for years and years. I’m a big place and not all of me is the same. I’m quite complex. 

In living on me, you will learn much. You will develop the ISRU – in-situ resource utilization - techniques your scientist and engineers are working on now, and invent new methods. It isn’t quite the same (or as easy) as “living off the land” on Earth! The lessons you will learn from living here in a closed system will, in due course, help you to better maintain the environment/ecosystem of Earth. 

As you start to arrive on Mars – those of you there will encounter problems and issues which will be communicated back to Earth and you will use me as a test bed for the solutions to send back on the next trip out to Mars – but those solutions will have been tested and proven successful here, on me, first. Some of you will commute between me and Earth. Many will find Mars too far to go and too much of a one-way trip. But not me. I am close enough to visit regularly so more of you will. I will be very useful as a stepping stone but it is a role that will last for decades – maybe longer.  

You’ll develop the first of those elevators you talk about here – not on Earth. The innovation and creativity that will develop as you start living and working on me will be phenomenal. And those innovations won’t just benefit my future residents but those living on Earth and eventually in settlements elsewhere. 

That originality will not only be technological but it will be social and political as well. You will experiment with new systems of organization and forms of government. You will also go back to your roots, by becoming cave dwellers again. At first that will be the best way to build protective habitats larger than you can ship to me. Urban planners will love (and hate) the challenges ahead!

Don’t get me wrong, while you will eventually prosper here, it won’t be easy. I am unforgiving in many ways. Small errors can and will be deadly. Attention to details is paramount. But you will be careful and inventive, and you will survive and thrive. 

 

EVA:       Any other thoughts? 

The Moon:       Well, we could talk all night….I’m feeling quite bright tonight! 

 

EVA:       You’re so silly. 

The Moon:       Some of you will always be fascinated with me. This time you will stay. You won’t just leave me to myself again. Once you get the technology to regularly and affordably come to see me – more of you will, and then more, and then more. 

As you have always done, some of you will look up at me on nights such as tonight and want to come visit me. And once you can, you will. And many of you will want to stay here to live. And I will be delighted to have you. 

 

EVA:       These aren’t just my questions. I might have more later…. 

The Moon:      (Big chuckle.) Reeeealllllly? YOU might have more questions??? 

Well, you know where to find me!!! 

You could always retire here with me…… that’s something else people will do here in time, as my lower gravity will make many age-related degenerative diseases easier to live with. Retirement communities will flourish! 

 

EVA:      Uh, thanks! I’m not quite ready for that yet!  

 

***** July 2009 – Over 2 years later, and after rediscovering this conversation and starting EVA Interviews: The Business of the new Space Ageâ„¢, we continue the interview. ***** 

 

EVA:       I was thinking about our earlier conversation and wonder, could I share it as a formal interview in EVA Interviews? And I have more a few questions to ask you!  

The Moon:       I love being the center of attention, especially when I’m full, as I am tonight. Other times I’m a little more shy, so much so that I hide. Share away! What else would you like to ask me tonight? 

 

EVA:       Have any of your thoughts changed since the last time we had this type of discussion?   

The Moon:       Everything I said before still stands. I am getting more excited about your return (and I still hope you, yourself, will visit finally). I have received more mechanical visitors – orbiting, viewing me, collecting data about me, smashing into me….  -)   That’s nice! 

 

EVA:    Yes! Much more has happened! 

The Moon:       I understand there is even some competition to see who will visit me first! How exciting! 

 

EVA:       There is! A formal competition between individual teams exists in the Google Lunar X PRIZE. There are also parallel missions, not considered to be competitive, and even some cooperative programs, by a variety of nations and their government space programs. Do you know who will visit you first? 

The Moon:       Who will arrive on my surface first? Hmm. Good question! If I told you though….. you said you were sharing this conversation… 

 

EVA:       Yes, I plan to share it. 

The Moon:       I can’t say for sure. But I am very interested in these private teams you mentioned. I hadn’t seen them coming the last time we talked. Very interested. What I will tell you, is that I see an excellent chance that one of them will arrive next, to stay rather than to crash. If they do, they will be here for ME, not my role as stepping stone. (That will still happen.) Yes, I am very interested in this. I’d very much like them to arrive soon, even if they are only robots. Robots are an important precursor in my case. They will always have important roles here. I know Mars is very happy to have his robotic and orbital companions. 

 

EVA:       I plan to interview some of the people involved in those teams. Do you have any questions that you want me to ask them? 

The Moon:       Questions? No.

Advice? Yes I do. Please think it through. I don’t want it to be like last time. I so enjoyed having some of you on my surface, but it was too few, for too short a time and too long ago.

This month, 40 of our years ago, you first arrived. That day was as important to me as it was to you. I don’t just want to be a conquest or prize. I want a long term relationship!   😉 

 

EVA:       LOL! I keep telling people that I think you are male but you are sounding very female there! You know, some people think I’m crazy because I talk to you. 

The Moon:       They call you a lunatic, do they? Well I love lunatics, especially when they talk to me! Other people talk to me too. Most don’t. I enjoy the conversations! Few ask me questions though and then really listen for my answers. I’m not sure if anyone has ever published an interview with me before!  

 

EVA:       I looked. There are a few, though none like ours! Most “EVA interviews” are with entrepreneurs and others who are involved in the economic aspects of visiting you or Space, but there will be some exceptions. OUR conversation is the first of those. You are a very special and unusual guest!  

The Moon:       Thank you for asking me!

We need those entrepreneurs! They will play a very important part in ensuring you get here and especially in ensuring that you stay. There will be strong, tangible, future economic and financial benefits for Earth. Governments tend to think in terms of the exploration rather than the development of Space, and so they may not recognize and pursue the opportunities that will exist. Entrepreneurs will. Encourage them to work harder! I’m waiting! Please come to me!  

 

EVA:       Okay, I will encourage them! Good night my dear friend. Thank you very much for sharing your unique perspective with us!!

(Humming to Frankie: and his great song Fly Me To The Moon  ….)

 

EVA Interviews The Moon (pdf)

 

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed are those of the author and her guest and may not reflect those of Out of the Cradle or BMO Nesbitt Burns.  Copyright belongs to Eva-Jane Lark, please email her at evainterviews (at) gmail (dot) com for permission to use these interviews. 

One thought on “EVA Interviews The Moon

  1. haha I love this post its very playful and fun.

    The part about the minerals on the moon was good. Obviously there are other minerals to mine alongside the good ones that would make it more cost effective. It would even be a great idea to make rocket fuel from the moon and transport it to a “gas station” right in the earths orbit, so we can get a much needed refuel after breaking that darn atmosphere.

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