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What do folks in England eat for breakfast? How do you milk a giraffe? What types of cases go to the Supreme Court? Can you break a car window with a thermos? Use this Q & A forum to help supply your characters, plots, and settings with a dose of reality. Someone, somewhere, has the answer.
Posted: 5/30/2013 7:36 AM PDT
I'm not an astronomer or anything, but from what I remember, the dark side of the moon is just the side that's not facing the sun at that moment. It will move (just like earth) and eventually all parts will get some sunlight. I don't know how long that would take.
There have been stories with prisons on the moon. Maybe you could look into what they did? I know you wouldn't want to copy them but it might give you a feeling of what is believable and what is not.
Posted: 5/30/2013 2:57 AM PDT
Just a thought - not based upon any science - but would the dark side of the moon by its nature be harder to 'populate' and thus render it unusable?
If so, would you be halving the area available?
Posted: 5/11/2011 2:40 AM PDT
I agree with MTGradwell -- "The moon's area is about the same as that of Africa and Australia combined"
Now, my idea is less based on reality than on sci-fi.
So, suppose, in some post-apocalyptic age, prisoners are sent to moon -- they could be taken up in spacecrafts. And suppose, the Moon has been divided into areas allocated to different nations (perhaps, those who could afford to buy land on moon and maintain a base?). This solves the problem of transporting men across an area as big as Australia and Africa combined. Mind you, this is way into the future, so the countries may be nothing like what we have today -- they may be totally new nations. And suppose Man has embedded artificial gravity generators in the moon, so it now has an atmosphere, which, unfortunately, still reeks of carbon dioxide and does not have enough of oxygen to support life on its own. So, the prisoners are sent to moon to develop cultures of oxygen producing phototrophic bacterias, which require only sunlight and carbon dioxide and minerals (all of which moon has in plenty). And, if you want to teach a prisoner a lesson, you can just take away his oxygen cylinder and throw him out on the surface for a few minutes... ah, I can run on and on!
If I may add, this backdrop seems perfectly feasible for a revolt, or a cross-country (cross-planet maybe?) romance or... you get the general idea.
Posted: 7/9/2010 1:27 AM PDT
The moon's area is about the same as that of Africa and Australia combined. Now, consider how long it would take to transform just one of those continents; say, to get rid of the desert in the middle of Australia. I'd say you're talking about longer than 200 years, and that's with millions of people already installed around the fringes of that desert, and with roads already in place across it, in a climate that is uncomfortable but survivable with care, and with no shortage of air.
Terraforming a planet might take seconds in Star Trek, but in real life - think how long it has taken for humans to make a detectable difference to Earth's climate, and that is with a population of millions and lately billions, and with all of us seemingly doing everything in our power to transform a planet that we are right on top of, not separated from by vast a gulf of space. Real terraforming of the Moon would likely take millions of years.
Right now, we don't even have the technology to put ONE person on the moon. We had it once, but we lost it and it would be a huge undertaking to get it back; just like doing the Apollo project all over again except this time there isn't the political will to sustain anything like that. And even if we did somehow regain the ability to put a person on the moon, there's a vast difference between that and supporting a colony.
That said, we don't know what will happen tomorrow. If someone invented a technology that could get a person to the moon for the price of a plane flight today, that would obviously make a difference. There still wouldn't be any rapid terraforming, in my opinion, but there could be a colony, living in pressurized accommodation and sustained by supplies from Earth. And the size of that colony could be whatever you want it to be. Since almost all all supplies come from Earth and almost everyone is confined indoors, there's no need for (or possibility of) farmland or parks or anything else that might take up a large area. Just lots and lots of accommodation. I'd say that this is a fantasy rather than a genuine possibility, but give that it is a fantasy there's no reason why you couldn't have a million people per square mile, say. That would give you a maximum lunar population of 14 trillion.
Pick a number, anywhere between zero and fourteen trillion. It's up to you.
Posted: 6/11/2010 9:05 PM PDT
Used for this story: http://www.webook.com/forums/messageIndex.aspx?topic=bacdca7406cd4674aa8e4e67c4506bee&fview=true
The moon is roughly 1/4 the size of earth. From what I've found, it could hold all of North America comfortably. If this story idea would be realistic, how many prisoners should be placed on the moon? How many "teams." Are large vehicles too much? Driving an area of 14 million miles seems a but much. What do you guys think? Is this story feasible? Would it take longer than 200 years?