Because it’s the future, damnit
They’ve discovered water on the moon.

The NASA lunar orbiter, India’s Chandrayaan-I, found 40 craters containing giant pockets of ice. The craters themselves range from 1 to 15 km in width and have been estimated to contain over 600 million tons of water. The phrase “sustainable moon base” is being thrown around, primarily by people like myself - Futurists (read: nerds).

More phrases that pop out: Over 600 million tons of ice. This seems to be a somewhat prime source of water but this is merely a pinky toes’ worth of progression towards Commercial Space Travel. There is still a long way to go.

Headlines that pop out: Obama wants to give NASA a $7.8 billion boost to its budget. All seems well in the world of Space.

But Obama cancelled the next manned mission to the moon. People read it as “Obama Cancels Space Program”, but if anything, he just opened it to a new direction. The space program is set to get $7.8 billion over five years to further advancements in space travel with research being done on in-orbit fuel depots, docking technologies, and closed-loop life support systems. Things needed for proper exploration of space.

This all has to be passed by Congress first and chances are that’ll take a while. NASA's refocus on new technology is worth it alone, but we’re also talking about an open niche of manned space travel. We’re about to privatize human space travel - think about that. As a member of this Earth human race, I see several obvious scenarios that await us in the future.

Commercial Travel

Best cast scenario: Aerospace companies such as SpaceX spearhead the private sector of human space travel after Obama’s budget is passed in Congress. The budget itself would take a solid year to get passed through Congress due to Conservative pundits and politicians viewing it as either anti-Earth/USA or Pro-Giving-Up-On-Earth. The technology will take another ten years to be capable of proper commercial travel. Another ten until it would be made affordable. Yes, this is the best outcome. 

Worst case scenario: A public cruise ship to the Moon happens upon a large meteor which will contain certain death, ranging from nightmarishly phallic alien-super-beasts that devour everything in their wake to floating gas that’s contagious with a bloodier form of dysentery. They then spread it to Earth somehow.

Public Moon Base

Best case scenario: After the success of the International Space Station (ISS) project, NASA pushes for a moon base for further research into extended life in outerspace. By 2020, SpaceX will have developed quick-ferry style areoships for transporting scientists and astronauts to and from the ISS.

Worst case scenario: Did you know mushroom spores can live in space? Far from the occasional fungous infestation, the International Moon Base will eventually discover mutant strains of hideous mushrooms growing in the laboratory. Based on a decision made while suffering from space-scurvy, the mushrooms will be introduced into the staff’s food supply. The entirety of the Moon base’s staff will have died of dysentery.  

Claiming Land in Space

Best case scenario: If the US planted its flag first, does that mean it lays claim to all of the Moon? Any country with enough money, desperation, and an excess of mad scientists could lay claim to land on distant planets. Three hundred years later, we'll successfully leave Earth in a grand exodus to Mars and the Moons of shittier planets.

Worst case scenario: As people travel around the surface of their terrestrial plain of choice they see little reason to actually claim land since the money and resources needed to build anything close to a survivable atmosphere would result in economic downturn. Lost in a dream that was to live on the Moon - to live amongst the everlasting void we call space - these pilgrims wonder the wastes of space as did the original pilgrims down the Oregon Trail. They’ll realize, only when it’s too late, that colonizing space is a futile conquest of futuristic-machismo. So it’ll come as form of poetic justice when they all have died of zero-gravity-induced dysentery.

// Sam MacDonald
opinions editor

Enjoy it? Share this on Facebook


© 2011 The Capilano Courier. phone: 604.984.4949 fax: 604.984.1787 email: