The New Suburban Frontier: The Moon?
by Christine Adams Beckett
Last evening, Michael Shara, the Curator for the American Museum of Natural History’s current exhibit, Beyond Planet Earth: The Future of Space Exploration, gave a lecture about the very real possibilities of colonization of the moon. This guy is no Newt Gingrich, but a true astrophysicist who has spent a lifetime studying the possibilities of what lies beyond our atmosphere. It’ll cost billions to get there and there’s the pesky question of water and oxygen, but certainly these guys will find the answer. The most immediate one is to launch two ships into space at a mind boggling cost: one for the colonists and another for the gear (including air). But what to do with future need for food air and water for those who’d like to stay longer than, say, a week? Simple: the soil on the moon is 40% oxygen which can be exploited by compression to create all those essential elements we need. As a matter of fact, Dr Larry Clark of Lockheed Martin has already found a way to turn moon dust to drinking water by separating the elements from within and reorganizing it.
Shara even touched upon the fact that the Chinese are currently developing a cosmic railway system to get us there. There are also private space exploration companies like Space X and Virgin Galactic, the latter established by Britain’s own Richard Branson who is already taking deposits for trips aboard his Space Ship II. Rumor has it Katy Perry already spent $200,000 to reserve a space for her now estranged husband, clever girl. Perhaps the cosmic rail station will serve Starbucks coffee, perhaps there will be an express line for those who need to get there in under 13 months. Maybe one day lunar property taxes will be less than its earthly Montclair counterpart, and certainly someone will open a decent yoga studio, nail salon, and sushi restaurant there.
I jog by Buzz Aldrin’s boyhood home on Princeton Place right here in Montclair three times per week. Baffling to think that in his lifetime, landing a man on the moon went from sheer nonsense to reality; and how ludicrous is it to think that he might see the early stages of colonization of the moon? Perhaps not as crazy as originally thought.
And you thought the commute to Penn Station was tough.
Click here to see Branson christening his Galactic Baby: