- establishing humanity's first, permanent foothold off Earth -

Once the InstaBase is set up, the first crew of eight would then be sent to the Moon in a set of historic missions. Ideally, they would be a commercial crew for the purpose of maintaining and expanding the telerobotic, ice-harvesting workforce and preparing other habitats for national astronauts not just from the US but from around the world.

It is likely that even the first crew would be able to safely remain on the Moon for several years and perhaps indefinitely. As such, it would be ideal that their social status was such that they didn't have a dependent child back on Earth and that they brought any spouse with them.

People moving off Earth and establishing new homes is settlement and as such would be as historically significant as what was accomplished by Columbus and the Pilgrims. This historic step should be taken by the United States and it should lead the rest of the world off Earth rather than leaving it to others to play that leading role.

And if that is not inspiring enough, a female dog could be the ninth member of the team. Later, the dog's mate could be sent leading to you know what -- Yes, Moon puppies!

The whole experience of the initial crew could be immensely inspiring if done with a mind that we are writing history. Four men and women, all Americans but many having come from other countries to join America as naturalized citizens. If properly selected, they could speak to about 70% of the world in a language they can understand. People on Earth could watch a TV series and use virtual reality and be inspired

The crew wouldn't be limited to repeating the Apollo experience by going out and picking up yet more rock samples. Instead the world would be watching as the crew went about establishing their new home including:

  • growing plants,
  • harvesting and producing
        metals for parts,
  • assembling more telerobots,
  • producing a variety of organic
        and inorganic materials,
  • conducting studies with animals to find
        out the artificial gravity Rx for healthy
        gestation and childhood,
  • celebrating holidays,
  • performing music (e.g. string quartet),
  • husband and wife dancing in 1/6 gees.

    The initial habitat could be covered protecting the crew from radiation. An indoor centrifuge would provide up to four hours of full, artificial gravity each day. And various measures would be taken to prevent the risk of dust. A small crew, living in a limited space for a long time could create some psychological challenges which would need to be addressed. The medical needs of crew and settlers can be met at every phase of development using thoughtful strategies.

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