Besides The Obvious, How Would Society Be Different On The Moon?

As far-fetched as it sounds, we may soon be able to colonize the moon. Since 2015, NASA has been working on plans for a long-term lunar base, deemed Moon Village. It is expected that a crew of astronauts bound for this base will be deployed by the year 2028. Ideally, the village will be located at Shackleton Crater, which gets enough sunlight for residents to live comfortably (at least by moon standards).

A Moon Village shouldn’t just mean some houses, a church, and a town hall,” explained ESA Director General Johann-Dietrich Woerner. “This Moon Village should mean partners from all over the world contributing to this community with robotic and astronaut missions and support communication satellites.”

While this is an extremely exciting scientific endeavor in and of itself, it also inevitably causes one to consider the future. It appears that this project is meant to expand beyond experiment territory and toward legitimate habitation – which of course begs the question of whether or not more common Moon communities or towns may emerge.

If we consider that they inevitably will though, there are a whole lot more fascinating questions to consider, concerning everything from basic habitation to amusement. So let’s consider a few of these questions.

Where Will Resources Come From?

This is a pretty broad question. But for starters, it’s believed we will be able to grow plants by way of fertilizer imported from Earth. Most of the energy, meanwhile, will come from solar power. And beyond these very basic needs, most projections about early space colonies indicate that just about everything – air, water, and even wet wipes – will be recycled, so as to minimize both material needs and waste generation. (So basically, if you aren’t cool with sharing a recycled wet wipe with your neighbors, maybe don’t sign up for those first few shuttles to Moon Village!)

Will There Be Internet?

In the age of technology, it would be pretty miserable to live without the internet. As of this moment, we have to figure it’s possible to have internet beamed in via satellite (one can just imagine Elon Musk laughing at the ease of this idea, to his Tony Stark-Esque mind) – but the connection, we imagine, would be rough. That said, it’s hard to imagine this not being very high on the list of things to perfect and improve, not only so that astronauts can beam 280-character updates back to Earth on Twitter but for basic safety and societal efficiency as well. Sure enough, reports indicate that the Moon will soon have its own mobile network – though it remains to be seen if (or how) it could serve a whole settlement.

What About Casinos?

This is actually a fascinating question to consider, given that mankind has pretty much always found ways to bet and gamble, and there’s no reason to think the activity wouldn’t make it to the next frontier. However, with gambling laws already complex enough on Earth, one wonders what legislation, if any, would be applied to a moon casino concept. If it is, in fact, NASA that first establishes a Moon settlement, it may be U.S. law that applies. Currently, new gambling opportunities in New Jersey are representative of something of a renewed push toward more lenient casino and betting practices. So it may be that by the time a legitimate Moon settlement exists, U.S. law will have reached a point at which casino activity is allowed, and NASA would act accordingly. In other words, get ready for a new branch of the Wynn or Caesars on the Moon.

And Entertainment & Sports?

Aside from a casino, one wonders what the entertainment scene might look like on the Moon. Cinemas may be viewed as somewhat less efficient than they’re worth from an energy standpoint, and conventional sports likely would be out of the question (though we have no doubt Moon sports would be created in no time). On a personal level, one imagines colonists would be able to use the aforementioned (presumed) internet connection to tap into everything from sports broadcasts back home to their Netflix accounts. In terms of public entertainment though, it seems likely that live theater would thrive. One could even imagine, once the travel became regular enough, popular celebrities boarding ships to go and perform for Moon Village residents (just imagine artists vying to be the first to perform a concert on the Moon!).

Will There Be Police?

It may not be as fun to think about, but this is another fascinating question that seldom comes to mind when people simply imagine the idea of living on the Moon. The idea of a space police force actually came up in the ’60s, when the Outer Space Treaty came about (before ultimately being signed by 105 countries). But one almost has to imagine there would be some kind of smaller force with specific authority just to maintain order in what’s likely to be a safe but somewhat strict (for safety purposes) environment.

Clearly, these questions could go on and on. These are some of the first and most interesting that comes to mind. But as we look ahead to a decade in which we may see a real Moon colony formed, there are only going to be more such questions to ask and answer about what such a society might begin to look like.

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