Back to the Moon

800px-von_braun_1952_space_station_concept_9132079_originalBy Gary Michael Church

By the end of the decade the first Gnome mission was launched. The bunker buster H-bombs were all successful in excavating artificial caverns. In concert SLS wet workshop missions carrying robot landers arrived in lunar orbit one after another at eight to ten per year. The robots descended onto ice deposits to collect water and then shuttled loads up to the empty stages. In due course the first workshops had their radiation shields partially filled and were ready for astronauts to arrive and establish space stations in lunar orbit.

The first task of the astronauts was to connect and put into operation the tether systems that would provide artificial gravity. The first pair of shielded workshops were slowly spun up and tuned with dampening loads along the tether cables. Once in operation the astronauts now looked out their viewing ports through several feet of water at the shifting and revolving Moon and stars. With their sanctuaries providing Earth gravity and near sea level radiation levels the teams began assembling the continuing flow of workshops into telecom wheels.

On the lunar surface the robots began clearing debris from the cylindrical blast channels. They would eventually reach the bottoms of the excavations and the job of removing the contaminated material would begin. Within the second decade multi-thousand foot deep facilities would be cleared, cleaned, and filled with air. Several more years would be required for manufacturing and nuclear processing operations to ramp up. The two major products were metal alloy stock and solar energy assemblies.

Twelve and a half years after the first, the 100th wet workshop entered lunar orbit. The initial telecom wheels had transited across cislunar space back to Earth. A geostationary infrastructure of human crewed wheels would eventually replace all telecommunication satellites. The next generation of Super Heavy Lift Vehicles with over 30 million pounds of thrust came into service lifting larger second generation workshops at double the launch rate. The second half of the 21st century would see an ever higher launch rate from Earth and millions of tons of solar power satellite components lifted from the lunar surface using hydrogen bombs in pulse propulsion systems.

Once the microwave stations established their power beams the first of the great single stage beam propelled Spaceliners lifted from Earth on their one way lunar voyages. In those first years thousands of people left Earth and as the exodus accelerated, hundreds of thousands. The space stations to house these workers multiplied and were repeatedly recycled into ever larger artificial spinning hollow moons. A period of rapid expansion ensued. In ever lengthening lines these city sized spheres led and trailed Earth in solar orbit. The population on Earth began to decline during the next century.

The 22nd century was the golden age of space travel as gigantic beam propulsion bases were constructed on the far side of the Moon. The power beams were constantly employed accelerating and decelerating artificial moons as they embarked and returned from multi-year mining expeditions. The raw materials, combined with bulk lunar resources, created more city moons. Some new spheres ventured outbound while others joined the long line arcing from Earth around the Sun. By the end of that century Earth became a vacation and research destination with a few tens of millions of tourists and scientists wandering the largely uninhabited continents.

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About billgamesh

Revivable Cryopreservation Advocate
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