Earth Orbital skyhook Completed
The lower tether is built up into a set of ribbons able to accomodate several cars travelling up and down. Cars are able to take payloads of up to 50 metric tons, the foot can berth a ship of up to 200 tons. The upper tether is designed to ferry ships docked at the anchor station up the tether until they are released at the right altitude for their destination. This can only be done one at a time, but ships can still be launched that way up to once a day.
Anshar StationThe anchor station becomes a hub of space activity and starts to grow into a community. It is named after the Sumerian god of the heavens.
Realization of Genuine Space ShuttlesBecause the velocity needed to reach the skyhook foot is so much lower, rockets that are fully reusable hundreds of times with minimal repair and maintenance become common, and are able to deliver about 4 times as much payload for each ton of fuel as rockets today.
Cheap Delivery of Asteroid Precious MetalsThe platinum-group metals in the anchor asteroid are easily mined and can be loaded onto shuttles returning to the surface. They are alone enough to pay for the cost of building this skyhook complex - especially platinum, palladium, and gold.
The Moon Hosts Several Fleets
Between Anshar lowering the cost to the Moon much further, and a highly automated construction industry on the Moon now able to build almost complete ships of several kinds all on its own, soon a number of entities operate fleets in space. The Moon Agency supervises and regulates them.
Asteroid Fetcher FleetsSome of these fleets are based on profitable asteroid retrieval. They can be brought in for extraction of their rare platinum-group metals, or so the iron and nickel in them can be used as construction materials in space, or to form the bulk of a space station, or so the water and carbon in them can be used as radiation shielding and life support for space stations or the lunar colonies.
Most fleet ships are in the asteroid retrieval business. Some others are heading out to found bases on other worlds. A few are building free-space colonies. Some are simply exploring.
Moon Agency FleetUsually referred to simply as the Moon Fleet or the MAF. Several more souped-up nuclear ships are added, capable of quick rendezvous with anything near cis-lunar space. With quick addition of extra supply pods, they can also set out to rendezvous with ships anywhere in the inner solar system. They expand the capability to mount rescues, and to seize ships.
Lalande City by Robot Magic
A factory that is almost completely automated, using not fixed machinery but robots and rovers able to move anywhere and do everything from prospecting new ore sites to doing quality control on final products, might as well be set the task of doing something that was previously impossible.
So, the first such end-to-end factory to do it all is set to building Lalande City. It starts with the quartz dome over everything, including the towers from floor to dome spaced throughout it, and the the rim structures that connect the dome to the ground and house all sorts of living space and infrastructure. The mines sunk into the central mountains and the lower crater walls, now extensive, are incorporated into the city. For the most part, they are now abandoned, or active mining is so far from the actual crater that it can be isolated from the city and connected to the surrounding factories by other routes.
Robots and automation have become so able that the robotic portion of construction takes only a decade. The robots build the power plants and factories needed to build all the other robots needed to build the factories needed to fabricate all the fused quartz dome sections, all the composite basalt beams and fittings, the basalt cable, and all the myriad other things. They build the robots that assemble the dome support structures and raise the towers, starting from the center mountains and moving outwards, until the towers are complete and a latticework of beams and cables runs between them and down their cores. They make the rim structures the dome edges sit on, and the anchors for the dome cables around the rim and under each tower. They place the quartz segments, seal the joints, and fuse the crater floor into solid stone. They put in endless plumbing, wiring, lighting, heat pumps, fiberoptics, comms systems, sensors, airlocks, recycling systems.
They lay down regolith enriched into fertile soil over almost the entire crater interior, creating terraces and stabilized slopes. They fill the dome with air, fill ponds and artificial creeks with water, moisten the soil, and plant an initial crop of grasses everywhere. They test everything carefully. Then the doors are opened, and the robots have to go find something else to do. The factories they made to do this become part of the construction industry surrounding the crater, the power plants provide the initial power for the city and expanded industry.
The city isn't finished until the end of Round 7. When it is opened, many of the RP residents move out into it, and when private citizen residents begin to arrive, many settle there.
Microgravity and vacuum manufacturing takes off. Delivery of the output to Earth is cheap enough using the skyhook and automated reentry vehicles for greatly expanded development of the method. Anshar fills with research labs and small specialized factories. The satellite launch and servicing industry is also centered there. Large hotels and recreational facilities spring up.
The asteroid that forms the anchor mass of Anshar is mined for a long time, and its mass replaced as it is taken away to Earth or the Moon mostly with lunar rocks. However there is a market for other kinds of asteroids at Anshar. Several with lots of ice and carbon are sold there, and a few stony ones with a different mix of minerals.
The shipyard grows much larger, and some stuff previously done on the surface is now done at the station, using material from asteroids delivered by mining companies as raw materials.
An O'Neill cylinder begins to be extended from either side of the top of the station, oriented north-south. This space is designed to be expanded outwards over time. It too is mostly made with material from arriving asteroids.
Residence Program Rounds 6 and 7
Urban PlanningIn anticipation of the day when the public can buy residence in Cernan's Promise, clusters of homes and related facilities are scattered through the full volume of the existing buildings, so that the RP residents aren't isolated from future residents. The 19,200 people in the final RP rounds fill in the lower reaches of the upper gallery, all the lower gallery, and the mega-atrium with clumps of homes. It is still more efficient for groups of people to share facilities with plumbing, meaning kitchens, baths, and washing areas. It has also already become a cultural preference. Arriving astronauts continue to divvy themselves up into groups of 30 and choose spots to build. Such groups become identified as micro-communities and have a rather tribal feel. They are referred to as cells, cliques, or bands.
Duties of ResidenceArriving residents continue to be officially employed by the Moon Agency, but only part time in most cases, usually one or two days a week on average. MA duties for residents narrow to community oriented tasks - developing and raising crops, expanding the set of organisms in the local ecosystem, maintenance and repairs, waste processing, construction of shared facilities for the general population, planning and administration, medical services, monitoring of safety procedures and standards compliance, ongoing research such as medical testing, and everything to do with transport, power, and telecommunications.
Increasingly Complex EconomyMany incoming residents now have arrangements with one of the private companies that have taken over mining, manufacturing, and commercial research, or with the foundations created to administer pure science research facilities such as the telescopes. (Those foundations are in turn administered by the MA, but are mostly independent.) Many others come with their own plans. A large proportion of new residents are now not sponsored by countries, but by universities, foundations, religious institutions, or professional associations. Some of the foundations were specifically created for the purpose of sponsoring RP astronauts, and send them to fulfill a specific agenda.
For instance, some of them acquire permission to erect their own transmitters and become private broadcasters. Some come to play the new sports that have become so popular, turning them semi-pro. Some come to start a new company or to conduct private research. Some are artists or thinkers who use the Moon as a platform to create works of art or spread a message.
A Local Virtual Currency is created. People have accounts that are files containing records of transactions and a tally of credits, in a distributed system that uses the majority of the computers on the colony to maintain so many encrypted copies of the accounts that it is impossible to falsify transactions (similar to Bitcoin). Sometimes the system is used for creation and witnessing of contracts, from simple wagers and barter exchanges to swapping homes. Nothing under the auspices of the MA uses this system, however. As always, the needs of life are free.
Conflict ResolutionThere is enough need for this that there are a small number of people who are sort of police, and something that is sort of like a court. The court handles contract disputes involving the private companies, and increasingly also the contracts created between residents. Occasionally it also handles disturbances such as physical fights, harassment cases, property damage, or theft.
Contract cases are a simple matter of interpreting the contract, and if it was not clear, the matter goes to mediation, and if that does not work, the contract is cancelled and the court rules on any distribution or exchange of property or funds involved. The court doesn't rule on how things are intrepreted, only on whether something is or isn't clear and thus must go to mediation.
Disturbances are always handled by mediation. The involvement of people close to the those involved in the disturbance is heavy. The court provides mediation but the responsibility for resolving problems is placed on the cells of people that share kitchen and bath, or who do a shared activity such as coilgun operation or ecosystem development. In the very rare case of a truly violent act, the resident is expelled from the colony and returns to Earth. This happens only maybe once or twice during the entire Resident Program.
Preserving a Way of LifeAll the residents are highly conditioned to a system where you labor for the common good, and receive the needs of life for free. They have lived that way for a few decades before the Residence Program ends. In anticipation of the arrival of residents after that point who go through a much more basic selection process, and in response to dynamics created by the growth of private enterprise, the residents of Cernan's Promise create a constitution. It is not recognized by Earth governments, but all the residents swear to uphold it, and the MA takes it very seriously.
The Constitution states that all the things they have become accustomed to having for free shall always be free for Moon residents - food, shelter, medical services, electricity, telecommunications, public transport, basic clothing and furnishings. That each micro-community (referred to as a cell, or sometimes a clique) of those who share kitchen and bath shall be responsible for seeing that all their members receive these things in a way sufficient for health, and each such cell shall perform its share of duties for common good that make it possible for these things to be free. That if there is a disagreement about this, mediation may be sought, but members may not be expelled from a cell. Members may only switch cells by mutual agreement. That the contract system that has grown out of the virtual currency shall be the authority for the creation and monitoring of interpersonal commitments that merit a contract - including such things as marriage. That the virtual currency shall be the Moon's only currency, and that it may not be used to charge interest.
Arrival of ChildrenThe first pregnancies occur. After a lot of careful assessment and monitoring, the precautions needed become clear. There is no danger to the embryo for the first 8 weeks or so as long as the mother isn't outside in the radiation of the surface much. The embryo is small enough that gravity plays little role. As the fetus becomes larger there is a greater need for exposure to something close to a full Earth gravity. Pregnancies are completed on Earth or in a few cases on Anshar or Gagarin in areas with simulated gravity of a full 1 g.
The real issue is how children grow. Minor irregularities are detected rather quickly when infants spend more than a day or two in lower gravity, and so they are taken to Earth or another 1g environment. The families return regularly to see how the children fare once they are a little older. Centrifuges suitable for extended use are built so that methods for children to live on the Moon can be developed. While on the Moon the families make use of them so that exercise, diet, and pharmaceutical programs can be slowly developed without the children being exposed to significant risk. Whenever signs of health deviations are detected, the families retire again to a full-gravity location. After about a decade of such monitoring and testing, how to safely raise a child seems clear.