World Shock . . .
It’s like culture shock, except for everything. You have to learn to walk again. You can see forests and oceans and mountains all the time – if you look through a window at the Earth. To adapt to the moon, Moon Town took a whole new approach to life.
. . . New Ways
To create and live in Moon Town, here’s what you need to know.
General Structural Engineering
Living spaces on the moon have to be pressure vessels placed mostly underground. In the vision here, exterior walls are made of basalt and the pressure of the atmosphere is contained by cables of basalt fiber.
Each hab portrayed has been designed for proper thermal control, low radiation exposure, plentiful sunlight, consistently good air and water quality, and a pleasant auditory environment (meaning damping of echoes).
97% of your time is going to be spent indoors. Nature for you is only the small and limited gardens of the habs. Each cubic meter is precious. Individual dwellings and most business spaces are restricted to the minimum adequate volume. There is great aesthetic freedom though, because there is little need to think about structural strength, utilities are provided, and there is no weather.
Water and Air
Each neighborhood of 20 to 30 dwellings shares one main tank of water. Activities that greatly impact air quality are also mostly done in one central area of each such neighborhood – cooking, laundry, baths, and handicrafts.
The wealth of robots and electricity
Each neighborhood also shares a suite of robots which together can handle almost any menial labor. This makes sharing facilities much smoother.
The town gets so much power beamed to it from space solar power stations, residents go looking for ways to use more of it. People commonly add mechanisms to their homes that fold and unfold entire rooms as needed.
Sunlight and Windows
On the moon, the existence of a window indicates a calculation was made that the value of the light and view obtained outweighs the cost of the radiation exposure that goes with it. There are a few approaches to that:
- Pipe light in from parabolic mirrors via a fiberoptic cable. Sunlight is obtained and no radiation comes with it, but the sun doesn’t look natural and no exterior view comes with it
- Place windows such that the view is almost entirely of the ground. The radiation that is risky penetrates the ground, it doesn’t scatter, so views of the ground are free of it.
- Build radiation blinds – glazed roofs with many very tall arches spaced along them. About half the sun still gets in while the geometry protects you from the dangerous particles of cosmic radiation from most angles, leaving a dose that is probably safe even with long exposure.
Anatomy of a Town
Crops and Animals
Farming occurs in all the atrium habs on the crater rim. There is farming of plants, insects, and micro-organisms for the soil that is manufactured locally.
All residents have radiation monitor wristbands that they wear at all times. Quarantine is ordered more often and is more complete. Emergency procedures usually involve robots. When warnings come of an approaching solar flare, much of the robotic equipment is programmed to take a long series of steps to get people outside to safety and to move plant and animal life indoors to where it won’t be irradiated and killed.
Moon Town’s population is a pretty orderly lot. But, there are some regulations and occasionally they need to be enforced. They regard things like noise, excessive parkour, and larder raiding. Violations are handled either by fines or neighborhood actions.
Many spaces are less private than on Earth. Dwellings are enclosed, offices and shops might be enclosed but often have the option of folding away roofs or walls at the press of a button. Commercial or institutional spaces shared by many tend to not bother with walls, not even to define their outer boundaries. Private space tends to be created when needed by temporarily closing the walls of spaces that are so equipped, or setting up an enclosure as needed and removing it afterwards.
The first habs built contain the most important institutional facilities – First Atrium, the adjoining Arcade to the south, and Center Atrium. A great deal of what happens outside is controlled or monitored from there. Organization of these spaces is fluid, changing according to need. Activity in First Atrium tends to be more about administration and research, that of Center Atrium tends more towards commercial ventures, and the Arcade is generally home to research and study matters.
The farming atriums and Teacup Crater is where all life sciences are done, in addition to the actual farming. Offices for that are tucked in the lower corners of these spaces, lab sections are set up low on the walls.
The first neighborhoods are set up in First Gallery. That’s when it starts to really feel like a town. A market, clinic, and recreation facility are made at the same time
It is very common for people to work at home at least part of the time. It’s part of what keeps the feel of Moon Town so open, fluid, and relaxed.
After the initial phase of Moon Town that is handled by the International Space Agency completely, business concerns start to lease sections of Moon Town long term. They have parts of the spaceport, the factories, and the habs. Anchor tenants are most visible in Center Atrium, where most of them have their formal offices. A few have farm and ecosystem interests and are based in the farm atriums. Much of the economy flows through them.
In most situations, expanding Moon Town together allows everyone to grow more than they could by working on their own. Making decisions on the best way forward is pretty complex, though. The Board makes decisions on how Moon Town will expand.
Anatomy of a Neighborhood
A neighborhood is composed of 20 to 30 dwellings, each 60 cubic meters in size, that share a few areas and pieces of infrastructure. While this is quite small, the nature of the moon and Moon Town allows for many approaches that make such homes comfortable. Large pieces of furniture and whole rooms often are made be stored when not in use, and many things can be very minimal or even be skipped with no sacrifice of comfort. The existence of a common kitchen, laundry, baths, and workshop means homes can skip these things entirely or add only very basic versions.
Toilets are of the composting variety, meaning urine is collected in one chamber and feces in another. This is for water efficiency and because all of that has to be processed and used in the ecosystem.
The materials provided for construction of homes are stone, metal, and glass. The weather-free, low gravity environment and the provision of all utilities make possible tiny dwellings of great artistry.
Neighborhood water tanks holds 10 000 liters. Each neighborhood also has processing tanks for their waste water, before it is returned to the town’s main tanks. Overall, the intention is that on average, about 200 liters of water will need to be reprocessed back into drinking water each week for each resident. The shared facilities have a main air filter and dehumidifier station, with baffles and insulation that goes around it to make it quiet and efficient. A dining area always accompanies the kitchens, which are well appointed for a wide variety of cuisine and preparation.
The baths have a mix of private shower stalls for one or two people with anterooms for changing, and one to several hot tubs of various sizes. The showers use a combination of methods to use water very efficiently. The tubs take advantage of plentiful electricity for processes that keep the water clean and hot for a number of days before replacement. Use of things like chlorine, bromine, and fluoride never occurs in water, and rarely within the habs for anything.
Most clothing is imported and is quite expensive. It is best to launder clothes in a central facility using equipment that is heftier and better able to do a good job than people are. Clothing is dried in an airing room where fans create a constant, warm, gentle wind. The quantity of laundry permits sorting into loads of different colors and fabrics for best washing.
The workshop area of a neighborhood provides space for handicrafts, within reason. If you want to do something that produces dust and smoke, you can do it there. Extractors will keep you and your neighbors safe.