Developing high technology's very own town

The moon’s treasure is in its qualities, not its materials. It’s a small, airless, lifeless world turning ever so slowly just 3 days from Earth. Once we had the machines and knew how to make use of that, it was golden. 

To engineer in Moon Town, here is everything you need to know.

Space Transport: Heavy traffic
No business in space made sense before two things: cheap bulk transport and extremely capable robots. Both things evolved rapidly after 2010. By the era of Moon Town, things had gone much further. Major transport modes include:

■   Nuclear rockets for people, delicate cargo, or speedy arrival
■   Mass drivers for frequent launch of bulk cargo from the lunar surface
■   Skyhooks for a broad mix of transport needs
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Robotics: remotely commanded smart muscle
Working with a space suit on is like working in a giant mitten. Robots with the agility, programming, and hardiness to be operated remotely to do any work a human can arrived in the 2020s. Since they can’t die, don’t breathe, and don’t eat, making them cheaper than a person was pretty easy. Soon they were cheap enough to send lots to mess around until we figured out how to make useful things. They took over the vast majority of work in space and ushered in heavy industry.
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Industry: fruits of the moon
Here is the list of resources there were to make money with: vacuum, sunlight, low gravity, cold, and location. Basic processes work differently on the moon. Digging, heating, cutting, mixing, burning - it's all different, almost every industrial process had to be redesigned. Once they were, they could do things impossible on Earth - and with no concern for the environment or worker safety.
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Space Solar Power
Strong sun is everywhere always above the Earth. Arrays of solar cells started catching that energy and beaming it around as microwaves even before the moon got into the business. Then the moon set up automated robotic factories manufacturing all the components for such arrays and launching packages of them on a daily basis. In a few years those arrays were producing more power than the Earth does. Then they kept going.
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Asteroid Mining
Missions to asteroids rich in carbon and water-bearing minerals flourished once the moon was able to support them. Asteroid mining had developed separately at first, pursuing its own course to sourcing rocket fuel from water in space. Then the moon provided the market for the carbon found in the same asteroids. As lunar manufacturing developed, the probes headed to asteroids started launching mostly from there. Eventually, most processing of asteroid material was centered in the moon’s great orbital shipyard.
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The orbital shipyard
A rotating skyhook orbiting the moon’s equator grew an O’Neill space station and a busy shipyard. It became Albatross shipyard. Chunks of asteroid were berthed at factories processing them into goods. Cargo from the lunar surface and Earth arrived daily. Robots crawled over everything. Engineers, technicians, and artisans supervised from the station nestled inside a crust of slag, enjoying a full Earth gravity.
Albatross makes craft, stations, satellites, and probes of all kinds - from vast solar sailing ships to gigantic spooled skyhooks sent off to bridge the heavens to the ground of another world.
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AI: Home of the robot mind
From the beginning Moon Town was home to the most advanced collection of robots anywhere. Unlike on Earth, those robots had more autonomy all the time even after some started passing initial Turing tests. Moon Town's impressive robotics community decided being on the moon made that safe. Meanwhile at the south pole advanced quantum computers and super-cooled mainframes sheltered in the deep freeze of Shackleton Crater ran massive simulations. One quantum / mainframe pair became an ongoing project in consciousness.
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Sundry Feats
There are few endeavors on the moon that don't involve new technology and engineering feats. Some that don't fit in previous categories: ecosystems and farming, medicine, ground vehicles and personal transport, research in fields such as cosmology, particle physics, and astrobiology.
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Map of Moon Town

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