Tag Archives: crater caps

Developing Projects and Policies: The Fine Art of the Now

I like to think of this blog with all its posts as a single grander project which joins together all of it components. Each page post and theme contributes to the totality of the blog in a way which enhances its own significance rather than diminishing it. Sometimes the themes may seem very remote from one another to some people but almost always they are themes which recur quite frequently in my life and writing. This post is pretty complicated in itself. It will combine elements of my interest in Christianity, film, space colonization and  writing. It is a fairly challenging post to read I think  — but I am not about trying to write for the lowest common denominator of talent exercising their minds at the lowest level of effort. That is why I write for ye few, ye proud, ye brave, ye readers.
I have been writing and drawing about colonizing craters on the Moon for quite a while. However, now we know that a specific crater on the pools has relatively abundant water and likely neighbors others with water. That means that water and crater like qualities currently coexist. We must now take this combination very seriously in contemplating our next steps in the space colonization enterprise. So I propose we develop robots to cap these wet craters early on and follow up with a short Apollo like visit to install key components and then launch a settlement ship. This small ship’s crew would see themselves as laying the foundations of a permanent human presence on the Moon as well as developing and pursuing their own short-term objectives. Here is small set of crude drawings of the LACRIMA (Lunar Advance Capping Robot Instigating Measurable Atmosphere).

LACRIMA - Lunar Advance Capping Robot Instigating Measurable Atmosphere

The second illustration is of the LACRIMA deployed as it varied stages and components have deployed to undertake various tasks. The drawing depicts operations before the first human short duration landing.

LACRIMA operating as a sort of terrarium developer.


The first human flight would bring an engine and cables for heating and power and would also have a Moon buggy to be left there. This would  be used to connect to solar array robotically deposited in advance outside the polar areas. The mission of the advance human team would be to connect this set of solar arrays to the crater as well as to install the engine, improve the cap and install a good port and elevator in the cap.  The second crew would bring advanced habitation components for the crater. A group would stay a short time and another group would stay on long-term.
There is a constant dialectic of changing steps and retaining long-term objectives in any great project. I am a Christian and I find in both the life Jesus lived among us and in the memory of his life plenty of inspiration  for development and courage as regards worthy objectives.  Here is a Facebook Note I wrote dealing with some of the thoughts I have about the life of Christ.
 Saturday, April 25, 2009 at 4:33pm |
I write a lot. I have written a lot. I read a lot. I have read a lot.I have often read aloud in public. I have taught people to read. I have taught people to write. Perhaps I can fill this note with these short declarative first person sentences on this theme. On the other hand, I may go ahead and try to do more. I have not been a very successfull writer compared to the tiny number of people who make huge fortunes from their writing. I have not even been financially successfull compared to the ten thousand or so people in the world who really earn most of their living from writing and live pretty well. I doubt that there are a lot more than that. Notice how much of you local paper comes with a local by-line. Then take that as a generous and very inflated glimpse of how many real writers jobs there are.

In this note I am going to do something that even I think is a bit odd and irregular. That I think is even a bit out-of-place for this type of note. I am going to use as one of my flow-in-flow-out points of reference a hypothetical writing task involving real, living and controversial people. I have in several notes recently revealed a long time secret esoteric interpretation of the New Testament. Now, just suppose it were to be commercially published outside of this little blog in the world of free access with only 499 possible subscribers as I type these words. What would be among the highest and best and most appealing uses for me? Where might it be best released?

Probably if Mel Gibson bought partial rights to the notes here as part of a prequel to Passion of the Christ called Life of the Christ that would be close to the best. Really my preferences would be that specific. Why?

Because he can make a good movie and movies reach lots of people who are hard to reach.
Because he cast real ethnic Jews in many roles and they look right.
Because he used original languages, imperfectly but better than almost anyone else.
Because both he and I might make some money and I could use it.
Because he seemed to interface effectively with a large section of the Christian community.
Because even though he filmed in Malta he got a better feel of the period at least than most.

I often watch media presentations about Jesus that are just plain horrible in my honest opinion. Zeffirelli’s Jesus of Nazareth and the Passion by Gibson stand out as among the best I have seen. Screenwriting is highly collaborative. I have done a good bit of work in newspapers and it is pretty collaborative too but not nearly as much as screenwriting. But all writing is related to a larger world than the page. I think that such a set of relations is often not given enough respect as being very hard to trace and analyze. On the other hand some quite literate critics and some illiterate dismissers also treat the nature of literature’s relationship to the real world as being hard to establish. They simply argue that it has no real significance.

There is no substitute for practice in writing. Jesus reading in the synagogue then preaching. teaching fro long periods of time at a relatively regular feeding of multitudes and training his Apostles and high ranking disciples. In that rhythm were produced stories and words that still compel many of us like no other words. Shakespeare, writing for a play editing when it did not work and then eventually producing one worth copying down and putting in the company chest. Such works have endured. Faulkner earned more money over almost the whole course of his life from screenwriting in Hollywood than from writing novels in Mississippi. Hemingway cranked out war reportage and did many stories in the first person about fishing and traveling. From that routine of work the literary Hemingway emerged. Enduring literature is born from the grind of human interaction, nature and writing more often than not. Writers write. they keep writing and they keep improving in a struggle to realize their dreams on paper and express their real life insights in their dreams.

Northrup Frye, a distinguished literary critic wrote a book about the influence of the Bible on literature and called it “The Great Code”. I was influenced by that book and enjoyed a great deal but its name has no overt connection to the esoteric interpretation of coded frames in the Bible which I have been writing about lately. rather he makes the important point of how scripture is a vital core and framework of understanding for subsequent literature especially English literature.

There is a great deal of the Gospel account which is best understood by the fact that Jesus was a literate story-teller and orator who by distributing wealth on a fairly large-scale while being interesting attracted a significant number of writers to his movement. Probably there were as many as hundred pamphlet like texts about him produced by those who knew him. St. John’s Gospel ends as follows:
“Peter turned and saw the disciple following whom Jesus loved, the one who had also reclined upon his chest during the supper and had said, “Master, who is the one who will betray you?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about him?’ Jesus said to him, “What if I want him to remain untill I come? What concern is it of yours? You follow me.” So the word spread among the brothers that that disciple would not die. But Jesus had not told him that he would not die, just “What if I want him to remain until I come? (What concern is it of yours?)” ”
“It is this disciple who testifies to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true. There are so many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the world could contain books that would be written.” John 21: 20-25

In this passage the we who believe and are writing the gospel we have seem to suggest pretty clearly that they have known St. John who knew Jesus and have received an oral tradition from him. They suggest that John also wrote a book which is the basis of the current Gospel of John which they have edited. Finally they make very much the noises that one might make when there are many documents one did not get to include in a history and so one apologizes to the authors of those texts and tries to find an excuse for not included the tidbits and themes that one may have taken great trouble to make available. I am not sure that Mel Gibson could get a real clear feel for that across to his audience but he might do better than some have done. There is a chance that even I would feel the richness of the work outweighed its flaws.

John was an episcopos and an Apostle within the Church but though he is not named with Judas (definitely not Iscariot), Joseph, Simon and James as one of Jesus’s brothers by the people of Nazareth he was also a relative of Jesus and one of Jesus’s purposes in telling Mary that John was her son and she is his mother is to designate John as heir of such privileges within the house of David as he has it in his power to give. This is limited compared to some systems but John is now the man of the house in which his mother is matron which is temporal and not the nascent Christian church. I am aware that the public Christian church has never had a tradition that the holy family adopted anyone but in our esoteric tradition Judas and Simon were cousins whose mother was a descendant of the Maccabees and a fairly prominent one. Their father was a Zealot and a devoted one despite being a Davidian of prominence. He was crucified and while the family was in Egypt and then when they returned the mother and children came to live in a small house that Joseph built on the edge of his struggling compound. She died before Jesus reached adulthood. They were adopted but in a rather more loose and House of David way than other Jews would have used. It was through them that Jesus acquired his first ties ti the Maccabean element in Israel. James and Joseph the other brothers of Jesus were not blood brothers of Simon and Judas. While Catholic prayers seem to emphasize Joseph as not having had sexual relations with anyone it is our esoteric tradition that Joseph was Joseph’s son by levirate marriage to another relative who had lost a husband while they were in Egypt. She raised him as the dead man’s son until her own death and then without parent or siblings he was also adopted. Note that when the people of Nazareth mention his family they are ready to stone Jesus. He had tow near relatives who had met violent deaths and in the ancient world people frankly found it easier to kill people in that class. Modern people do as well but they are not as open about it. Jesus’s family business and household were substantial and although there were many dependents Jesus’s designated heir had more leisure to write books than some living in the relative communism of the early church. To modern ears this sound s hypocritical. But there would have been no church movement without the funds drawn from Jesus’s household at various times and in various ways.

The Gospels also make it as clear as they can that the Herodian dynasty regarded Jesus’s family as a very major threat. They remained more or less continuously at war with them. Herod the Great orders the killing of Bethlehem’s little boys to get Jesus. Herod Antipas is only a quarter-king but as Tetrarch he kills John Jesus’s cousin who is known as the Baptist. When he first hears of the ministry of Jesus he mentions killing John right away and then asks to meet Jesus. Everyone knew Jesus had a better claim dynastically to any Jewish throne anywhere than any Herodian did.

Jesus’s household was clearly not rich. Zealot assaults on cashiered mercenaries at the time of the death of the Holy Innocents in Bethlehem involved members of the House of David and Herodians were killed to in part as revenge for Herod’s atrocity in the most ancient seat of the House of David. This sort of conflict was not only unequal, easily terrifying and cruel it was very expensive for the Davidians. Though he generated a lot of wealth as an adult they were poor when he was born and always had many expensive burdens to bear. Nonetheless, John could afford to write.

Jesus grew up with double entendres and stealth as part of his extended family lore and his way of life. Jesus’s only land based attack is not mentioned in the Bible at all and is perhaps the most gruesome and shocking to modern sensibilities. Jesus recovered from his fasting and prayer, meeting with the Essene emissaries, leading the demon assassins into the lion’s den and he immediately met with Simon the Zealot, a group of unmentioned zealots and relatives and relates his tale of the Devil’s camp. There are pens of captives, huge supplies, torture chambers, guards and time is of the essence. He gets a handful of people to accompany him only one of whom will become an Apostle. He agrees to position them around the camp at night with an emphasis on opening the cages of the captives and setting them on horses and asses kept there with supplies and scattering to the winds. Then they are to take the loot they can killing such guards as they can and bring the loot to a place agreed upon. With about a dozen or so men he assigns all but one to this task.

The only assistant he takes with him is led to a prearranged spot with cages of birds dragging tiny bundles of fire starter on string and a couple of donkeys. The assistant set the fires and released the bird and as they flew over the camp the fire reached the strings and they were burnt through creating tiny bombs. All of this took place at night and so it had a stunning visual effect. The birds were then freed as well by the fire and disappeared. This was timed to occur when the first guard sounded an alarm in the main camp. The men in the larger group would attack at that time. Then the assistant would sling stones dipped in poison at those guards moving near his position. Jesus would be the only many leading an assault on the main cam. The only human assaulting it. Using asses dragging meat and a relationship with the now man-eating lions he led a pride of recently man-eating lions into the camp. The camp had literally a thousand armed men. The other smaller camp was unusually filled with camels and donkeys and packs of booty and unusually lightly guarded had many things not been very unusual the raid on the adjoining camp would have failed but as it happened the camp lost all its prisoners many trade animals and lots of supplies and wealth. A few prisoners were armed by the raiders and died fighting but only one raider died and not on site. When the guards from the main camp arrived they found burning tents dead bodies and little else.

Jesus held back in shadows with a sling and a bag of stones. Whenever a guard drew a bow or a spear effectively against a lion he hit the guard with a stone not caring much if he killed, wounded or stunned. He simply supported the lions letting the blood and food smells of the camp drive them into a frenzy. When groups assembled to attack or defend against a lion he picked a few targets and hit them. He kept this up for a very long time. Then with fires in both camps and the howls of men and the roars of lions he slipped away to meet his men. He never returned to the camp again. He never got a full report on the damage. But when he did return to the meeting place he had enough supplies to begin his public program. The skirmish itself is now lost to all history but there were laid the economic foundations of the Jesus movement.

Jesus then gave the real life speech on which the parable of the talents would be based (see Matthew 25: 14-30). Keeping a double share of the loot himself he divided the rest equally among his followers. Reminding them that he also expected there support within the coming campaign. Further any loot they could not take at that time he agreed to take on an opposite understanding — He would give them back a portion of the value he could realize from the loot upon demand after a reasonable delay. How much was this fortune? It was a significant loss to the fabulously rich demons but it was almost an immeasurable fortune to the struggling House of David. Through his interview with the Devil Jesus knew that the Devil saw three primary men to be eliminated in order to destroy Galilee. One was himself. The other was the most successful fisherman on the Lake — Peter. The last was Jesus’s mortal and hereditary enemy Tetrarch Herod Antipas. Jesus used the fortune in several ways, first he ordered several large loads of wood and supplies through his Household’s carpentry shop and then fabricated the platforms he had already envisioned for dealing with the swine. He used a silent partner to fund his distant cousins James and John to pay off their own debts and then to buy a share of Peter’s business. Thus unknown to any becoming their partner. He paid to have many amphora of fine wine switched with the ablutions water at the wedding of friends having hard times, all of this was wine seized in the raid.

While waiting for the wood to arrive he converted the now empty bird cages to fish cages with hidden compartments and hid a different currency of coin in each of the cages. These coins also helped to anchor the cages by weighing them down. However, there were animals, saddles, weapons and clothes he could not safely use or sell. Through Simon the Zealot he found that Chuza was in trouble with his Lord Herod Antipas for both using court funds to support Zealots and skimming some off for himself. Jesus met with Chuza and Simon and came up with a system where Jesus would send loot to Chuza who had the only institution in Galilee large enough to launder the goods. Jesus would take a fraction of the real value of the loot and allow Chuza to make a cut so long as both the debt incurred by the Zealots and his enemy’s own treasury were also enriched. All three in this set, Joanna, Chuza and Simon would sign off on each transaction. Joanna would bring Jesus and his disciples payment disguised as gifts and then encourage others of women of means to give to his ministry as well(see Luke 8:1-3). This real life experience was the basis of the parable of the wily steward(see Luke 16: 1-15).

Jesus then contracted with foreign merchants so that trade with Galilee would not fail. He ordered lumber, millstones and anything related to bread-making and wineskins. He also bought up most local production of these same items. He traded a brand new millstone in Galilee for anyone who would give him a used stone and a ruined or cracked stone. He traded a new wineskin filled with fine wines from his booty for anyone who would give him two badly used wineskins with any wine in any quantity enough to slosh audibly. He also contracted to build the ovens he would use. He was nearly broke except for a half dozen platforms, a collection of millstones, old wineskins of bad quality, a set of secret ovens and some very part-time help he could demand. With these resources and a handful of new disciples who barely knew him he prepared to face down one of the world’s greatest foes.

The basic schematic of the raids is laid out in my note titled “Easter & War”. As the calming of the storm would indicate, Jesus and his Apostles would cross the seas in a life threatening storm and only then. They would free the captive and drive the swine into the water they would slaughter and butcher the swine bringing only the fish shaped meat pieces to land. Jesus and Peter were seen on one of these platforms in the walking on water. The porkfish were baked on skeletons both of leftover feedings and form the piles of unusable fish fishermen left around. These piles on the shore are mentioned in Jesus’ parable of the net. Jesus always asked people to pass up food to be shared out at his meetings. The normal thing was that a good amount of food was passed up and mixed with the available supply of porkfish. The feedings mentioned in the gospel are manifestations or signs ( and therefore also risky) because the manufactured famine had reached such a point that the people in the crowd had only tiny amounts of food to contribute to the feeding.

Jesus used rituals, parables, acts of charity, instructions and acts of war all overlayed in the same framework of facts. While this gets even more complicated as it passes through layers of writers it was immensely complicated as he lived it. Yet on the other hand this redundant meaning approach made things simple, increased security and aided in his moral teaching ministry. while the phrase “pearls before swine” for example had a history it was used because the bones of the swine tangled in old nets and strings and sunk under water were like white underwater pearls. Some acts of his war are told in parables outside the ordinary form and also repeat technical instructions. Jesus wants his Apostles to find spiritual meaning in the work they do which is largely illegal by most standards. The teaching on scandal is the best example of this style of work.

Imagine the platforms on which Jesus and Peter walked on water as large wooden squares of planks mounted on a heavy timbered cross. The central section over the centermatched cross beams is not platformed. There a ring of pig bladders and skins are inflated and secured under the edge of the platform. A similar rim of inflatables is on the edge of the platform. An odd tube of old nets, sackcloth and trash is weighted down from its open mouth to the lake floor with a small rock. Int hat tube all intestines, pigs trotters, skins, heads and notable pig organs are thrown. Once the butchering is done a millstone is secured around the neck of the tube which is then tied.This is then thrown in and drag the tube down compressing the pig wastes. Later the platform is moved and the place will be the site of several great catches. All of this is done mostly so that Jewish children can eat porkfish and not starve to death while also avoiding scandal.

With that factual scenario in mind listen to the following quote from Matthew 18: 6-9,
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believes in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause sin! Such things must come but woe to the one through whom they come! If your hand or foot causes you to sin cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter into life maimed or crippled than with two hands or two feet be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into fiery Gehenna.” An honest and thoughtful reading will show many parallels unlikely to be coincidental.

Not every aspect of Jesus’s life is documented in some close code on the one hand or retelling in recorded parable on the other. For example the Gospels mention that he sent the sick to be examined by priests, that the manufactured mud pastes for eyes, that he encouraged people to give clothes to the poor and that he was involved with both baptism and healing baths. But there is no real evidence for what I propose as a normal Historical Jesus meeting per se. All lepers and sick people would be gathered first. A divider would go from the shore and into the the lake, dividing men and women bathers. All donated clothes gathered by his traveling followers from others would be given to those with the worst clothes. Those worst clothes would be burnt in the fire pits which heated the ovens elsewhere where the porkfish was made. A very unique and kind of crude but sophisticated soap would be given to the bathers. All those who were free of visual uncleanness after bathing and getting new clothes would be released into the crowd and told to confirm their healings with the authorities. Those still not well would receive what salves and bandages were available and be sated separately near Jesus. He would speak for a while and call for gifts of food to be offered to the front. His Apostles and others would mix these foods with porkfish and other goods they had and redistribute the greatly increased food supply to all after Jesus blessed it. Then Jesus would speak again after all had eaten and listened he would bless those in the section of seating for the sick and many would get well ( though obviously here Christians and atheists must see my scenario differently). Then he would encourage people to go to a section in the middle of the crowd to exchange any gifts that they might have brought with those in need. While this was going on he would allow questions from the crowd. After all of that he would usually dine with a prominent local resident for supper. This would be an all day affair requiring the work of dozens of people. He may have had between 12 and 30 of these days.

Jesus and his disciples hit each of a number of camps twice in raids and had a secondary feeding in most cases by moving small pigs to a wild site where they could forage and slaughtering them later. On each raid they freed all captives not killed in the fighting and used captives they armed with captured weapons though more captives were not fighters. The huge herds of swine also were deliberately chosen because as omnivores that helped create the famine by eating any human food available and not just grass. The demons also had a science of using the swine to foul as much drinking and fishing water as possible.Jesus and his disciples all veiled their faces during these raids.

These raids and feedings created the framework around which the rest of his public ministry coalesced. However, as Herod Antipas killed John the Baptist and began to track Jesus it became harder for Joanna to bring her payments. Pilate desecrated the great Temple in Jerusalem killing Galileans during worship and the Temple guard who had killed many armed foreigners did not dare risk an open battle. Then he was spotted walking on water. It is in this crushingly intense historic period of his life ( and not at some later date) that two things begin to happen. Jesus begins to state repeatedly that he will be crucified in Jerusalem and he increasingly supports and defends his reputation as a Messiah and a the Son of God. Son of God is a term rarely used for human kings in the Old Testament when they have a special mission from God but Jesus begins to push even this most lofty of claims to a higher place. He often spends all night alone in prayer. It is here that the Christ emerges whom atheists find it difficult to admire. However, the literary beauty of his teaching reflecting on all his life is still very sharp and sweet. As a verbal artist he is admirable to any one.

I chose the Mel Gibson prequel device partly because I do not wish to deal with the last week in this note. Gibson’s prequel should go to the Last Supper but I will leave off here. What I have to say about the unknown life of Jesus is largely said in covering these earlier months and years. The Gospels are a rich trove of insights even if not always understood as I see them. However, I hope that as long as we have biographies of Christ in various media there will be some I think are artistically worthy of the subject. I also hope that we will always have such biographies.

End of My Facebook Note–
I hope ye brave, ye few, ye proud, ye readers will find some focus and inspiration.  

Water on the Moon: A Frank Summary of Implications

I. LCROSS has reported: “There is water in Cabeus.”  This is a long way from reading these word on a statue of Anthony Colaprete on the campus of Cabeus High School on the Moon but it is important. The picture below is of me on one of my family’s farms when I was a child but modified to seem the interior of one of my imagined lunar or Martian crater colonies. The wetlands, ponds and gardens at the bottom of the crater are analagous to the Pacific Ocean on Earth it is to be remembered. They are the great concentrations of the water. 

Crater cap fish


The way this environment could be effected is diagrammed below. However, since wet craters exist on the Moon’ polar regions the plans would need to be modified in the first colony. Thus the major solar arrays would either be orbital or (preferably) miles away and connected to the colony by buried cables. Later colonies in the regions of more light  would use a design closer to this one.


CCCC mining concept
How a crater on the Moon or Mars might be developed.

Here is a crude  and brief key to the diagram.

1. The ring at the top is a cap which covers the crater rim.
2.The yellowish gold lines running out from it are rail lines joining the colony to spaceports, colonies and other assets — no spacecraft are allowed near the colony.
3. The red straight lines are the rails on top of the cap built of very strong and light materials.
4.The blue disks are solar array which in the case of a polar colony would have to be remote.
5.The orange-gold disks on the land near bu or observational astronomy, science and communications assets.
6.The green square with the x in the middle is a green pyramidal building housing the only airlock connecting the colony to the surface.
7.The heavy dark green line and the heavy dark red line are buildings which as columns support the cap from the middle and have elevators connecting the floor to the cap and in the case of the green building to th rest of the universe.
8. The irregular green and blue areas at the bottom are the farming, fishing, park and hydrology features.
9.The series of lines in grays and blues and tube-like shapes fanning out near the bottom are the mines which would be the economic base of the  colonies in most cases.
10. In a mature colony many homes would be in the mines and the better ones would  carefully built into the rims of the craters. The floor space of the crater would only be for viewing, agriculture, recreation and truly urgent assignment for other uses. The mental health and prosperity of these colonies would depend upon such a rule.

 II. Having seen what could be does not mean that it will be. We will probably never do these things — but our only hope for a good future involves doing these things.

III. I hope ye few, ye brave, ye readers will consider getting involved in this process.




I hope to post more later but the LCROSS team did have a program on NASA TV today it was a press conference and I watched most of it. I have been looking for it and stumbled on to it in the middle.

The basic data is that there is both ice and water saturated material on the poles of the Moon. In the spot which the impactor struck there was certainly more water present by proportion than there is in the Earth’s driest deserts.
To review my earlier posts see the following:

It is important to understand that a ew doaen gallons of water in the ejecta cloud is so very much more than no water at all. On the other hand it is so much less than a real ice cap. But it is possible to imagine exploiting it for a base.

LCROSS: We Slam the Moon looking for Water

Tomorrow, on my clock here in Louisiana NASA will slam a school bus sized part of a space craft into the Cabeus crater on the Moon’s South Pole. A second shepherding spacecraft equipped with many sensors and transmitters will navigate through the particles, gasses and vapors and whatever may have been thrown up by the impactor. The principal purpose of this exercise is to prospect for water.

If the impact reveals an ample near ice cap in the shadows and just below the surface then many other factors will suggest to many people and companies that the Moon can become a hub for a space industry. If there is water rich subsoil that does not amount to the large quantities in an icy pole but is nontheless significant it means outposts and colonies on the Moon can be started with great care and skill and hoping for the best according to optimistic space boosters. If there is very little water then developing the Moon in any way will be a very costly and daunting task by most definitions and analyses of the situation. Of course the spot could be an anomaly and not represent much that is typical of anything but almost everyone will presume that this is not true.

The LCROSS will be a vital step in coming to know what the resources on the Moon are and how they are distributed. We know there is abundant water ice on the Martian poles. We know there is water in many other places in the solar system. However if it does not exist on the Moon it will be much harder for us to develop a real space policy than if it does not have water in greater than the small amounts we have already detected across most of the surface of the Moon.

The more water we find the more chance there is also for me to see the Crater Cap Colony Concept I have pushed for come to some kind of fruition in my lifetime. It will not cause anything to happen but will certainly help if LCROSS kicks up lots of water.  For some basic data on the LCROSS as it has been intended from the start go to:


This will interact with my own colonial ideas in complicated ways. But a water train shuttle or pipeline from the poles to feed the colonies would certainly be a vastly superior goal than hauling the water in from the Earth.

Crater cap fishCCCC mining concept

We may hit dry spots that are not typical or there may be malfunctions we do not detect. However, it would be great to find a great deal of ice and water. That is what I will be hoping until the report comes in to us all.

National Parks and Ken Burns

Tomorrow night my PBS station with Louisiana Public Broadcasting will be airing the Ken Burns film The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. I have spent a significant amount of time in America’s National Parks. My times in Mesa Verde, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Smoky Mountains,  Mammoth Caves and some of the other large natural areas are among my most precious memories and times in my life. Additionaly Jean Lafite and numerous other sites protected by the  National Park Service have enriched and been part of my life.  We have all got some capacity to appreciate the beauty of nature, all of us have a potential to be moved at the majesty of it all. I have been to Kunyu National Park in China, to numerous state and city parks in the USA and I truly do have some great memories of all these places. However, the National Parks of the United States hold a very special place in my heart and memory.  I remember my ex wife and I getting into a tent just before dark at a Mammoth Caves tentsite and then getting up to spend a good part of the day making two cave tours and then diving to Louisville where I spent two days a researching the Roy Striker deposit of files on and copies of  documentary film and photography at the Ekstrom Photographic Archives at the University of Louisville. We did other things that trip when the archives were closed but the National Park was the highlight of them all.

I will never forget the sense of awe which I experienced in going to see and walk through the giant sequoias. I will always remember the many conversations I had with rangers and the many lectures that I listened to given by rangers.   There have been analogous experiences and overlapping ones like visiting the twenty-one (actually not an exact number) California Missions that started the Great State of California on its path into Western Civilization. But in a life that has brought me also London and Truk Lagoon I have a very high esteem for the US National Park system. 

I also remember a bear coming into our camping area when I was a child at a national park and fishing for trout with my father in the clearest natural water I had ever seen.  I will never forget the awe I felt when I first saw the Grand Canyon. Those experiences have given me hope about humanity interacting with nature over the long haul. I have been away too long to be sure if some of the other sites that I have visited were National Parks or some other clasification. Petrified Forest and Painted Desert are among those.

I look forward to watching the PBS specials and enjoying Burns view of all this. We must face a future with the courage to build islands and undersea habitats and to colonize space. That must happen for us to be who we are and when we are doing that well then we will also be able to bring the Parks and new parks into their highest glory. I am not joking whne I say that Ilook forward to the day when our national parks are used to seed apecies into  artificial environments where no life exists today. I look forward today to see the  day when we use waste to build islands and colonize crater and free up more land to act as clean natural corridors connecting parks.

For now I hope that I will get to watch the Burns movie and let it move and educate me a little bit. Maybe it will be a bit of a tie to the future and the past. That would be both my personal past and future and larger collective and communal pasts and futures.

What about that water on the Moon?

Today NASA held a press conference revealing that by combining calibration sightings of a comet watcher called Deep Impact and the data aquired by the Moon Mineralogy Mapper riding a hundred kilometer orbit over the moon on the Chandrayan India based lunar mission. I watched the press conference on TV and am basing this note on what I remember from that conference without using any more sources. Somewhere on the site www.nasa.gov one can doubltless get the most up to date data. Probably some of it will correct errors in my summary below.

A Frank Summary of Moon Water Issue

1. The general surface of the Moon remains drier than any Earthly desert.

2. There is water difuse and spread over the whole surface of the moon in rough terms. There is is a chaotic and broad pattern of water distribution.

3. There is a broad distribution of hydroxyl as well which is a different combination of hydrogen and water.

4. There is evidence in ejecta that hydroxyl and possibly subsurface deposits of water have been thrown up by impacts.

5. There is an average of between one liter and one gallon of water in every ton of typical surface regolith.

6. There may still be water in permanent shade, water in subterranean deposits of ice and remnants of meteoric or comet borne material that was not part of this surface distribution.

7. We now have a baseline above zero for water on the moon. It is much less than Martian conditions and very austere but it can be combined with other elements of water located.  Together with other sources it increases the chances of successful futute lunar crater colonies above the worst case scenario.

Some Thoughts about Science Fiction….

I am writing a science fiction novel on Facebook on an account named Summers Progress. In it I feature a number of my own inventions. Perhaps none of them will see the light of day outside that fictional universe. I am not sure. I see people casually discussing what amounts to surrender to the Taliban. From a scientifc progress point of view this is quite different than delivering Iraq to the influence of an Iran which is at least eager to compete in science no matter how much else I may find reprehensible in its regime.

In recent months we have had  the new Star Trek movie introducing a new young cast and we have had the release of GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra on our movie screens. I think people are hungry to believe in a new and better future. The role of Science fiction in shaping the dreams and hopes of young people is a complicated one which we cannot easily fully analyze and understand. But it does play a role. I hope that as the world struggles with all its current problems it can still make time to perfect its dreams of the future. Perhaps in some ways those are blueprints of many future policies. 

This post first appeared on my Facebook page on March 27 of this year.

This is the kind of topic that I will surely have to revisit and take in small pieces in other notes if this series is long enough. However, there is a place somewhere in the wide universe for an overstretched brief personalistic essay about the future generally. Maybe this is the time and space for such an essay I have taken the lense of science fiction and have ended up focused on really a small part of the future itself. Howver, the future itself is still my topic.

I often or even usually have a strong or weak religious and spiritual element in these Facebook Notes. I usually do not single out religious groups by name for the purpose of distinguishing them from the point of view I am taking. However, in this case I am taking the somewhat unusual course of discussing both Christianity and science fiction and how they relate to our apprehension of and planning for the future. I think that I have a decently adequate basic nonadherent’s understanding of the following three religions: The Church of Jesus Christ Scientist (Christian Scientists), The Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints (Mormonism) and the Scientologists. I can assure any of you that I would be happy to influence thinkers in any of these groups but that I am not taking a position which is anywhere particulary near to the orthodoxies of any of these religions. Indeed it is I believe within the range of Catholic and Orthodox Christianity.

I do believe that Space is within the meaning of the heavens and heaven as are other things which Jesus indicated when he said that “The Kingdom of God is within you”. I do believethat Jesus as a fully human man was a poet, a liturgist, a prince, a lector, a rabbi and among other outstanding achievements he created a body of achievement that could be classified as science and engineering — all his human attributes do not detract from his claim to divinity. Nor do they answer the poetic ambiguity in the verse from the epistle “Though he was at one with God he did not claim equality with God as something to be grasped at…”. I do believe the Scriptures I cal the Sacred Scriptures have a call on us to care for the Earth, for our fellow man, for our families and (that at the state) we have now reached Space colonization is exigent in order to fulfill those obligations. Nonetheless, I do not intend this note to be primarily a religious or Scriptural Facebook Note.

One way in which I subject my own talents in predicting the future to public scrutiny is that I play a variety of viewable online games in which prediction is a vital skill. These games include fantasy football at NFL.com, the NCAA Bracket Challenge on Facebook and various kinds of online Texas Hold ’em Poker. I am not the very best but my play is fairly respectable. Outside of online gaming I have demonstrated other signs of function in the current technological milieu. I have earned a couple of degrees, some licenses, some commisions and certifications and they all demonstrate that I am not drawn towards futurist endeavors because I cannot find anything I am able to do anything worthy in the present. Nonetheless, I would proudlyidentify myself as a humanist rather than a scientist.

I have thought about the future a great deal. It seems that a lot of people have. We all express a certain faith in the future everytime we put milk in the refrigerator, puchase stock, go on a job interview or call someone to set up any kind of date, meeting or get-together. In fact probably nobody reading this really thinks that the known universe will cease to exist in the time it would take an ordinary person to read to the end of this note. In that sense faith in the future seems pretty universal.


However, beyond simply believing that life will go on for somebody or something somewhere, most of us think we ourselves have some continuity beyond this throbbing or fleeting instant we call the present. I am writing about the future in a bit more specific way than this however. I am trying to discuss the future as a kind of grand subject.

I like to think about forming the shape of the human and earthly future as well as trying to influence it myself. I am deeply unhappy about many signs of how the future may turn out. However, I am also very optimistic about what is possible. A decent number of historians and antiquarians read futuristic literature and science fiction. Certainly, I have read a great deal of history and seen a lot of antiquities. However, science fiction and futuristic writing have played a big part in the formation of my mind and the filling of the time I have had available to read. It is tru that Styar Wars is a science fiction classic franchise and big money in our time which is set long ago and is full of Biblical and royalist allusions to past societies. But it outlines launches, gravity wells, spaceships, linguistic analysis, imaging systems and countless other things which were new with seeds and roots in the time Lucas began the series andwith fruit and flower in the future as far as we are concerned. A substantial minority of science fiction is set in the past in that sense but in a cyclical sense still maps a reality technicaly set more or less in our foreseeble future. Star Wars is actually less, as some of it is not anywhere near our technical capacity.

One of the intersting things about Michael Crichton the writer of books such as Andromeda Strain, Terminal Man, Jurassic Park and State of Fear is that he was a medical doctor. This is why his series ER was so sound in so many ways. There is an authenticity in his imagined science because he was able to live and function in the world of real science in his time. While a devout Roman Catholic, I belong to a struggling old secret society which gives a particular double interpretation to some scripture passages as coded preservations ofsome amazing achievements of Jesus in science and engineering. For us Jesus’s lofty goals and the ideal on which he founded his church are more and not less credible because of the other ways in which he exerted leadership and showed genius in his world. In a certain minimaly similar way writers like Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke and Michael Crichton have some increased appeal as writers of their type of imaginative fiction because they could do real science in the real world.

We often find science fiction refereshing because it is devoid of some of the reminders of religious, national and familial obligations which surround is. That is true even for those who generaly are and seem to be pushers of family, nation and religion with their incumbent obligations. People such as I am still enjoy Dune’s vacation from the Roman Catholic Church to the Orange Catholic Bible. In instances where they are similar there is still no actual Orange Catholic community that either the Protestant House of Orange or the Catholics of our own time have to actually get along with. However, to notice that sense of fictional escape is not to say that tradition, religion and hard nosed reality have nothing to contribute to both the making of science fiction and to its enjoyment by its readers.

It has been also on the promise of really remaking the future that leaders as diverse as Adolph Hitler, Mao Tse Tung (Mao Zhe Dong), Vladimir Lenin, Lech Walensa and Thomas Jefferson have made their claims. Not all to the same dgree but to a greater degree than most leaders who have not lived in the last ten centuries. Contrary to the vast body of modern opinion I would argue that in many ways almost everyone born in the last thousand years shares a basic sense of desperation and insecurity that was far from being the norm prior to that time. Humanity spent a great deal of its early formative period expanding at a walking pace across and from Africa, across Europe and Asia and then across the vastly long journey of the Americas to Patagonia. Then there were crude and slow crafts and dogs and horses that brought in Australia and remote lands and mountains not safely reachable before then. Then the vikings in the tenth and eleventh century to a degree far greater than any history book will ever tell visited large and small islands in all four hemispheres (East and West, North and South) often leaving there only slaves and captives often of mixed ancestry from varied culture with whom some of their genes and technology were mingled. They also drove waves of refugees in ships from burning towns ro new islands in almost every part of the world. All of this happened before 1492 and the age of Discovery. Since about 1100 the Earth has been a fairly old and settled place as far as hunmanity goes. The mythical and infinite earth of great undiscovered creatures and lands with unknown and incaculable potential really died in about 1100. Since then all leaders of all places have sort of known that many of the happiest and most hopeful options for their descendants were foreclosed and that we all had entered a phase of negotiations (whether lethal or peaceful) with other humans. Most humans have never lived on the edge of the unknown lands but their existence did affetct allhumans at some level. Their experience did define the possible for leaders everywhere. Population control, vertical integration, oppression, xenophobia and tedium always had to compete with the whispers of the wild and undiscovered world and the vast genetic and historic cultural ties which linked all humans to the process of discovery. There have always been serious planners and as long as there were truly unpopulated lands around their plans could be different. Since then we live in a different human experience than formed us and only serious colonization of the solar system can address that basic change in a way that preserves some of the best of who we are for the future.

Both adventure and resources await our species throughout the solar system. There is little doubt in my mind that we damn ourselves quite seriously if we fail the challenge of securing access to both the adventure and the resources. Yes, I believe God has given the Moon and Mars to Earth’s people as part of our manifest destiny to colonize. It is part of becoming who we are meant to become.

If we had self sustaining and vibrant colonies on the Moon and Mars trading with Earth. Peopled by growing populations and settlers then our lives would resemble that of our human ancestors for long ages past. Most of us would not go to space and would not live their but we would know that we were living in a world of expanding possibilities. Inddeed it would be better than much of the past because almost all could see that were were bringin life where no life had been before. Being both sane and optimistic would again be really possible. The prospect of interstellar travel right now is a near impossibility. The possibility of interstellar travel in the future of a moderately badly run human society with real colonies on the Moon and Mars is substantial. The possibility of interstellar travel in the future of a society descended from us if we have a few centuries of colony driven development on the Earth, the Moon and Mars is very hight indeed. Once honest people can say to their children that our species is on its way to colonizing the worlds around as many stars as it seems right and convenient to colonize then our whole frame of reference will have changed for what the Human race is about and can expect.

We find science fiction in Dante’s Inferno and the rest of the Divina Comedia where the pilgrim with his guide takes a single path down through the center of the Earth where the pits of hell are deepest and the follows the same line past the center of gravity as down becomes up. Now he follows Beatrice through Purgatory to the high mountainous realm of heaven. The science of understanding gravity in a sphere is the central device. We find science fiction in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein when Dr. Frankenstein freed from the Medieval prohibition against dismembering corpses is able to put his monster (named Adam after the man God made) together form spare parts and give him life. We find science fiction in bits and pieces in old Greek mythology.It reaches some heights in Jules Vernes fictional depths as Captain Nemo adventures in 20,000 Leagues under the Sea. There is a poetic wildness to science fiction in CS Lewis’s Perelandra Trilogy named for its second book. But while I read all hese things I also read the vast body of more hard-core genre science fiction.

CS Lewis wrote of the various reasons for writing science fiction. On class of novelists and short story writers he chose to distinguish from himself were the “engineers” who tried to tell stories set around the use of potentialy useful future technology. Arthur C. Clark who wrote 2001: A Space Oddyssey made famous by the great Hollywood film was many things but certainly he was an engineer writer. His hard science fiction told of communications sattelites, space stations, moon landings, computers of the type we call artificial intelligence and other things before they existed. Besides deiscovering shipwrecks, at least one of which was full of treasure, he wrote many novels and short stories. His treatment of starships in 2001 is sort lost in the presence of working portals, one of which was left on the moon at the dawn of mankind. But in several of his novels he describes human s seeding the stars in ships that travel fro hugely long periods of time run by computers which retrieve crews from suspended animation and then help them rise to new function when they reach the star. He may even discuss the use of frozen embryos in providing the bulk of the population base. This is very far from Star Trek’s warp drive or Star War’s hyperdrive or Dune’s Spacefolding Guildsmen.

I have never published a novel and most of the of the ones I have written could be classified as unfinished. However, I have written several set in the period when the solar system is being colonized. A future I feel should be our focus of attention. I have set one or two in the period when human civilization well established in the whole or much of the solar system is invaded by interstellar aliens. I have written very lirrle about humans going to other stars. Partly this is because I feel science fiction ought to entice us into the right future when it is engineering science fiction and our thoughts should be on colonizing the sloar system. However, in my view of the future I have a pretty good idea of how starships ought to come into play.

The most important factor about interstellar travel initiated by the human race is that it would be by far the best if it came after about 500 years of intense development of the Solar System. When there are thousands of operatiing populated spaceships, a dozen or more space stations and large factories and ports on the Moon and Mars fed by Lunar and Martian farms and with labor and finace experienced in space then interstellar travel and starships will have a different appeal than they can as we live in a world where perhaps none of the things listed above will ever happen. I believe we can begin to envision many of the steps we have to undertake. I have included some drawings and illustrations that I have posted in the Crater Cap Concept Colony Group as milestone on that projected road.

Humanity must perfect the colonization of craters in varied situations.
Robotic ships on Mars starting the process will be a kind of simple practice for interstellar colonization as well as being the basis of much of the future economy.
Craters will become huge complexes of cities and farms in some cases. But robots can start the all-important capping process.
Eventually systems like my catapult idea would tie Earth to continuos and efficient launches into space just as imports fom space colonies and prodution for space in space will create a huge part of the economy.

What we need to do to get to be a species that lives engaged with the universe of our perception is first to dwvlope this solar system. This process will of course vastly impact our societies and culture. Not doing it is already having an impact. I believe this process can involve creation of entire Earethly eco-systems in canyons. It can be largely humane and part of a larger blossoming of human culture. One of my new Facebook friends Shaun Waterford is developing (and has largely developed) asystem of underwater habitats. I think colonizing the Moon and Mars can lead toa great synergy and cross-fertilization of ideas with those who want to explore the great potential of responsibly colonizing the pelagic ocean floor, seamounts and underwater coastal flats. Most problems will be different between spae and the sea. However, a huge number of problems will be the same, similar or have complimentary solutions. So what could life in space be like?

A view from above of a mature crater cap colony. The white sheet is the uppermost of numerous layers in the crater cap. It allows the features to be studied from space. The blue discs are solar power centers. The two railways intersect with a single airlock on the surface sheet. The colony has almost no profile, farms, towns and mines are below the surface.
If colonization is centered in craters there will still be plenty of astronomical observatories, laboratories, pipelines and spaceports which allow the colonists to have an exposure to their unearthly surroundings which over a lifetime amounts to something we can scarcely imagine. However, in the Crater Cap Concept Colonies life could be very much like earth except that it would be lived in an earthly ecosystem and by earhtly pople under conditions of one sixth or one third gravity. There is norassurance it will be well done but if it were done well life could be pretty good there. Good in the minds of ordinary folk who are not as interested in science fiction as I am — is a possibility in space colonies.
Using entranceds to mines that radiate from the crater with its central fertile fields and pure cliff dwellings that draw from traditionms such as the Anasazi and Nabateans beautifula nd functional residences with extra safety from breached caps would not use the fertile floors of the crater colonies. Each country and colony could devlope a unique architecture i each miniature world that a crater would constitute.
Many animals could adapt to life in these crater colonies. Chickens could roost high on the walls and fly though the pressurized air in low g. with their aerating feet and droppings they would help in the phese of turning the floors of regolith into real soil.
Larger crater rims would have parks around some of the more massive foundations of the cap. These parks would be outside themain warm and wet circulation of airin the colony.
This would enable a cooler driier microclimate to make for a more pleasantly diverse living environment.
Fish living in bodies of water on the moon and mars would be able to fill a normal idf assisted ecosystem. Then children vould carry emergency vaccum suits in sealed cans as a weight when venturing into this wilderness area. They would benefit from the incidentla weight training. Adults might be allowed to determin e their own risk and decide to use the suit/weight cases or not.

There is of course a lot more to the future than we can address by looking to space colonization. I am very much aware that John Hope Franklin has died this week. He was a black man and a scholar of African American History as well as being an active leader and scholarly planner
of the civil rights movement. John Hope Franklin died at ripe old age. However, the possibilites for collaboration between various groups and peoples would be much more promising if we were colnizing space and greatly increasing real and potential resources. Jesus said “I have come that you might have life and have it abundantly.” Frankilin spent a great deal of time trying to figure out ways for varied people to live together in a way that seemed more abundant to him. There is no guaranty that we will act wisely and fairly in a world of objective abundance but objetive abundance is part of what all people of goodwill should be working towards.

Science fiction is one of the arts of our own time and place. We are invited by it to look at what we can do and how e can do it. I do hope though that because somuch of our fiction is interstellar we are not distracted fro the great adventure in our solar system which really is calling to us and which will shape much of our destiny.

The End

A Personal and Objective Take on Outer Space

This post originaly appeared on Facebook in January but two new drawings have been added and a few typos corrected in this version.

Outer space is that portion of the universe that is farther from the center of the Earth than the highest reaches of the Earth’s atmosphere. It makes up more than 99.99999999999999% of the universe which we can physicaly perceive. If we were to divide up all of the physical space we can see or detect equally among all the inhabitants of the Earth the amount of space occupied by all humans alive today would make a minute and entirely insignificant portion of the share belonging to each person. However, most of that space is dark empty and has hardly any atomic particles in it and it is so far away that physicaly using those particles in any way in the next 100 generations can’t be reasonably imagined. But even our solar system alone would allow us to use a fraction nearly as big as that we started this argument with or maybe bigger. In the solar sytem most of the oxygen is in outer space, most of the carbon is in outer space, most of the hydrogen is in outer space, most of the helium is in outer space, most of the metals we call precious are almost cerianly there and the metals we need for highly specialized uses abound in outer space. It is almost certain that there is more liquid water under the ice of Jupiter’s moon Europa than there is on Earth. Nothing between the Sun and the orbit of Pluto is intrinsically beyond the reach of our own basic technology to reach, tag and return from roboticaly. Cost, law, design glitches and time are clearly identifiable obstacles. I said these things were not intrinsically impossbible by rearranging and refining existing technology. Given thse basic facts, I believe that an aggressive space policy is in the interest of all humans and of the Earth and all its species so long as it is mostly a wise policy or even largely a wise policy.

What inspires me to write this note today is the small concept group which I mentioned in my last Facebook note. I believe that the development of outer space is as important as anything else that confronts human beings in our age. The concept group is called Crater Cap Concept Colony Group. It is not the only group of people exploring the possibilities of space as a group and it is not the biggest such group either. However, it is certainly the only one that I have founded on Facebook. So that rates it an important mention in these notes.

Space colonization follows a chain going from observation, to exploration, to travel and exploration and then to stationing. After these things comes colonization. Space colonization has the chance to be the biggest change in human economy since the development of agriculture. The coming of agriculture was not an unmixed blessing but it was one of the most justifiable of all social changes in human history. Had humanity not become agricultural sooner or later things would have become much worse than they have gotten so far. Life today awaits at a crossroads as great as that of agriculture.The great works of irrigation for large scale agriculture created the mighty powers that ruled ancient China and Egypt and created societies that could pour weatlh into purchases that enabledother peoples to change from nomadic hunting or nomadic herding to a combination of nomadic herding and carrying trade goods. It enabled fisherfolk to increase their population by adding waterborne trade to their fishing economy. It enabled warrior bands to enter int0 long-term contracts with landholding kings and to earn a living partly from keeping the peace.  Agriculture really made a different human world and remade much of the world as well. The best hunter-gatherers were actually richer, healthier and freer than the new farmers but in the end the choice of the species as a whole to emphasize agriculture was a choice vital to both survivial and any real chance of prosperity. I think that space colonization requires a simlar leap and offers similar sets of consequences. I don’t really expect to live to see a working colony on the Moon or Mars. However, as long as I do live I will apply some of my energy to that transition humanity must make towards becoming a space colonizing species. The Crater Cap Concept Colony is the model I think we should be pushing towards making a reality.

While astronomy has always been a discipline that was a significant teacher and leader into fields of knowledge for much of the human race’s journey into development — it must yield to the leadership of those who will build permanent and sustainable colonies. On the day when Humans have a few colonies on the moon with tens of thousands of residents each it will be very easy to make huge progress i astronomy. However, aiming only for a golden age of astronomy will not necessarily bring about lunar colonization. The larger possibility must find the rank and leadership in these areas.

Craters are distinct features which can be studied and which have common characteristics. They exist on the Earth, the Moon, Mars, asteroids, several moons of our solar systems planet and can be theorized to exist in or near many other objects around our sun or other stars. Capping a crater has an intrinsic economic and resource wisdom to it because one is using the enormous energy already expended in creating the bowl and only creating one side. Frequently one could achieve enormous benefeits in blicking our cosmic rays and radiation. All of these benefits are true even for asteroids. However, in larger round objects like the Moon and Mars it is very likely that one could use the gravity to create a highly functioning biospheric hemisphere. In terms familiar to some, one could make a terrarium including one or more aquaria. Whether or not there is air or liquid water on the heavenly body would have little to do with the success of the crater cap colony. People could live in these and that is the basis of our little concept group.

just a crude drawing of a robot for for the Mars early phase
Second drawing of MATCHES (Mars Access to Crater Habitat Exploration Ship)
Last of MATCHES drawings.
I also think that once there is a crater colony (or certainly a few crater colonies) thriving on the moon then one would have a basis for many industries.  Things manufactured on the moon would be esily lifted and deployed to Mars colonization, to space ships, to Earth orbiting stations and to asteroid miners. One sixth gravity is economic magic that would make all solar system operations entirely different. Producing goods in . pace and dropping them to earth is intrincsically cheap. Thus carbon fuels highly refined could be lifted to the moon wherthe will be mixed with gasses made impure for colonies by various accidents and industries. These fuels would lift six times as much from the Moon as the would from the Earth and these fuels would not affect Earth’s air and climate when burned. Very precious things would be “downported” by Earth to maintain a balance. In the distant future components of landing craft returning to Earth would be built with precious metals needed by agencies and nations on Earth. This would create a flow of commerce to bring our population base into outer space. Within a few centuries perhaps a significant minority of cities and farms could be in outer space without any flash bang science that includes things we cannot imagine.

Once we have a couple of crater colonies on the moon we would need geosynchronous sattelite and another base perhaps at an L point between lunar and Terran gravity. These would be the places where all aging nuclear waepons were diposed of by either being loaded on spacecraft for second or third explosions or used in initial explosions to launch really massive spacecraft to move very fast on the way to other colonies and smaller robotes on their way to the stars.

None of this is pure fantasy. I think we should divide up most of the surface of the Moon and Mars among all of earth’s nations unequally, sell some as new national sites and keep a good portion as a permanent UN mandate. Failing to act wisely now either means we willl lose humanity’s greatest economic opportunity or else nd up with a really horrible policy made under more pressing conditions. I am not optimistic that we will make good choices. But I think our behavior in this century will determine the human future’s outlook for all of foreseeable human society.

I am committed to specific goals but I support all who are sincerely striving for a human future in space that is wise and sustainable. Good luck and God Bless to all of you out there. I am not a likely expert or member of the space community but I cherish this hope for an expanding future. Perhaps the amateurish perspective will cost me a few Facebbok friends. I lost two inj the first year and have lost four lately. However, I am grateful for the professionals on my list at the time of this writing.