People on the Moon

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What types of People will Settle the Moon?


It will take many types of people to build a successful lunar settlement. Many will have specific jobs or have had lengthy training. Others will go to the Moon with specific intentions, like mining or settlement.

Do you see yourself in this list?

This list is of the possible types of people it will take to run a full scale lunar mining settlement such as the one described by Harrison Schmitt in Return to the Moon.

A separate list is available of People on Earth who will support the lunar settlement and types of Robots on the Moon gives the non human participants.

The competition for any of the lunar berths will be very stiff. People in different groups are apt to feel that others had it too easy getting to the Moon.

This list is also intended to help develop characters for stories about settling the Moon.



Apollo 17 Moonscape with rover, NASA archive photo

Types of People on the Moon

They may be called "Mooners" or "Luners".

Astronauts (USA) / Cosmonauts (Russia) / Taikonaut (China?)

  • They are the first group of people on the Moon
  • They are government employees
  • They are trained in US, Russia, or China
    • Their training location is indicated by their title
  • They visit Moon only for short periods to do specific tasks
    • They stay a few days to a few weeks,
    • They rotate in and out over longer periods
  • They are always expected to go home
  • They deliver and install scientific equipment
  • They help deliver and setup new facilities
  • They deliver and help setup the first mining equipment
  • They may be any sex or nationality
  • Their selection has a political component
  • What they want to do is to put their footprint upon the Moon
    • To go somewhere no one has ever gone before

Miners

They may be called "Sand Hogs", or with a derogatory twist, "Mules".

  • They are the second group of people on the Moon
  • Their primary mission is to keep the mining machines, the Sandworms, working
  • They work hard and play hard
  • They have contracted for a one way trip to the Moon
  • They are past mid-career
  • They expect to stay on the Moon for life
  • They rarely return to Earth
  • They are employees of The Company
  • They may be either sex
    • They can not have children
  • They may be any nationality
  • They are select by The Company from long list of applicants who volunteer
  • They pass a very difficult physical examination
    • with a long psychological examination
  • They usually serve as an Earth-side worker before their trip to the Moon
  • They may provide any support service
  • They may assist astronauts
  • What they want is to:
    • Make the economics of the lunar mine work
    • To lay the ground work for lunar settlement
  • Some die on the Moon
    • They are buried on Moon
    • These may be made into computer avatars

Tourists

They may be called “worthless *#*#@ …”.

  • They only stay for short periods on the Moon
    • A few days
  • They are very rich people on Earth
  • They have a robot buddy at all times
  • Their fees are important to early economic startup
  • All other groups of lunar people have a love / hate relationship with them
    • They are subjects of snide comments by others behind their backs
  • They are not allowed to convert to other types of Mooners
    • because of a lack of training
    • Have not gone through the training process
  • What they want:
    • To say then have been there (and you haven't).


Retirees

They may be called “Grandpa” or “Grandma”.

  • They enjoy retirement in low gravity
  • They pay huge fees.
  • This program is an extension of the tourist program.
  • They are very, very rich
  • They own a large block of The Company stock
  • They may have political connections of value to the lunar settlement
  • They will have a valet robot with an Earth controller
  • They will have already picked out their lunar grave site and epitaph
  • Their duties:
    • Serve as grandparents to settlement children
    • Serve as mentor in business management training
    • Serve as tour guide
  • What they want:
    • To fulfill a dream


For further details refer to Retirement on the Moon

Settlers

They may call themselves ‘the real Moon people”.

  • They intend to raise families on the Moon
  • They come as couples and can have children
  • They are long-term residents
    • Almost certainly for life
  • They are the youngest age group
  • They make attractive role models for young people on Earth
  • Their presence is possible only after the lunar facilities are well established
    • They need medical care, schools, and extra living space.
    • They are the last group to arrive
  • Their job is to work in the mines and do all support services
    • They do most of the hard work of building a real settlement
  • They help to expand all facilities
  • They stress farming
    • They introduce animal husbandry
  • What they want:
    • To settle the Moon permanently




People with Specific Jobs

Some people will have very specific and necessary jobs.


Scientist

They may be called “Professor”.

  • He or she is responsible for scientific experimentation
    • Sets up new instruments
    • Maintains existing instruments
  • He or she goes on ground exploration surveys with the rover
  • He or she follows in the footsteps of Harrison Schmitt
    • Supports mining surveys
  • He or she supports educational outreach
    • For students back on Earth
    • For settler children on the Moon
  • He or she supports health tests on lunar people
  • What he or she wants:
    • To keep the data flowing
    • To get their name on a very large number of referred science papers.

Chief Security Officer

They may be called “Sheriff”.

  • He or she is responsible for all security maters
  • He or she keeps a lock box for all fire arms and explosives
  • He or she is not Sean Connery in “Outland”.
  • He or she has previous law enforcement training
  • He or she usually has previous military training
  • He or she may have a posse of trained workers for emergencies
  • What he or she wants:
    • To keep a lid on this thing

Chief Medical Officer

They may be called “Doc”.

  • He or she is responsible for all health issues
  • He or she runs the clinic
  • He or she has a lock box for all dangerous drugs
  • He or she is not Scotty in “Star Trek”
  • First responder in all incidents involving people
  • What he or she wants:
    • To keep everybody alive
    • To keep everybody health

Fitness Instructor

May be called "Coach".

  • He or she runs the gym
  • He or she makes people's exercise plans to counter act 1/6 g problems
    • He or she takes special care with people who plan to return to Earth
  • He or she supports the Doc on health issues
    • He or she is a first responder
  • He or she organizes exercise games and contests between Moon people and Earth bound enthusiasts
  • What he or she wants:
    • To keep everybody healthy
    • To show off what the human body can do in 1/6 g

Lunar Operations Supervisor

They may be called “The Boss”.

  • He or she is the highest ranking manager on the Moon
  • He or she is an employee of the Company
  • He or she is a miner
  • What he or she wants:
    • To keep this operation running
    • To keep the Helium 3 production high

Union Steward

They may be called “The union guy”.

  • He or she is the representative for the workers union on the Moon
  • He or she is an employee of the Company
  • He or she is a miner
  • He or she supports workers
    • In personnel disputes
    • In job related problems
  • He or she participates in negotiations over working conditions
    • Hours
    • Down time between shifts
    • Required overtime
    • Benefits like mass to and from Earth
  • He or she does not negotiate:
    • Strikes (illegal, like air traffic controllers)
    • Pay (set by individual personal services contracts)
  • What he or she wants:
    • To keep people happy and productive
    • To keep the things running smoothly

Information Technologist (IT)

They may be called “IT guy”, as in “get the IT guy”.

  • They keep the many computer systems running and up to date
  • They have responsibilities in computer security
  • They support robot control and communications systems
  • They support scientific data taking
  • What they want:
    • To keep this colossal mess running
    • To play with the toys

Tour Guides

They may be called the "Cruse Director".

  • They only stay for short periods on the Moon
    • A few days, rarely a week
  • They look after the tourists
  • They may be a lunar retiree
  • They are tolerated by, but not liked by, the real lunar workers
  • The fees paid by the tourists are important to early economic startup
  • What they want:
    • To make lunar tourism work.

Other Considerations

There are other considerations on the selection of people for the Moon.

Nationalities

  • All groups may have people of any nationality
  • Many are from the major space-faring nations:
    • USA, Russia, China
  • Some are from other space participating nations include:
    • Europe, Canada, Japan, India, Israel
  • Tourists and retirees can come from any wealthy country, e.g. one of the first space tourists was Mark Shuttleworth from South Africa. Middle Eastern oil families are likely. There are billionaires in most countries in Asia, e.g. Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, also Australia, New Zealand.
  • Some come from odd places and nobody can quite figure out how they got to the Moon

Transitions

Some types of people can change into other types, and some cannot.

Allowed transitions:

  • Astronaut to miner
  • Astronaut to Earth worker
  • Astronaut to settler
  • Earth-bound enthusiast to miner
  • Dead miner to avatar
  • Settler to miner -- by death of partner

Not allowed:

  • Tourist to miner or Settler -- At least not without returning to Earth first. They are not seen as properly trained and the people who worked hard to get to the Moon fairly resent them buying their way in.
  • Miner to settler -- The miners are required to be older workers. The females would likely be past reproductive age. All male miners would have vasectomies. The settlers are all required to be fertile.

Not all the characters on the Moon will be human beings. See Types of Robots.

Some people are stuck on Earth. See People on Earth.