SETTLING OFF EARTH
- transitioning to an ever expanding settlement -



MOVING TO THE MOON

TRAVELING TO EARTH ORBIT
The experience of settlement doesn't start once settlers arrive at their destination. The whole process of ticket sales, visiting the launch site, watching a launch, and some training would all add to the amazing experience of moving off Earth.

The whole experience of launch and the arrival in orbit itself would give life-long memories. The forces involved, the first sensation of weightlessness, and the first views of Earth from orbit would all be valuable experiences.

In order to maximize the experiences provided to the settlers, it seems reasonable that settlers would spend something like a month in low Earth orbit (LEO) in an orbiting hotel. Located in an inclined orbit, the settlers would be able to view the majestic beauty of the Earth, identify features such as the "boot of italy", and even look down upon their home region from orbit. A variety of weightless activities could be planned so that all settlers would take full advantage of the LEO experience.

TRAVELING TO THE MOON
After departing Earth, settlers would spend three days on the way to the Moon. Upon arrival, they would enter into a stable, polar, low lunar orbit (LLO) where they would dock with an orbital hotel there. Arrival itself would be quite the experience first seeing lunar features up close and then getting to watch one's own Earthrise.

Observation from lunar orbit is going to be an important part of the settlers' experiences. There are certain features that they are going to be visiting on the surface of the Moon that can really only be seen from orbit such as the magnetic anomaly, Reiner Gamma.

ARRIVING ON THE MOON
After orbiting the Moon for about another month, the settlers could then descend and land at the international base at the south lunar pole. Screens showing the landing would enhance the landing experience.

Perhaps an experience could be arranged whereby settlers could exit the landing craft into a fitting room docked to it. The passengers would then suit up and immediately walk out onto the surface of the Moon in a personal, Apollo-like experience. Because the landing pad would be some distance from the international base, the settlers would probably need to get into Apollo-like, open "air" rovers and drive to the base.

ENTERING INTO THE INTERNATIONAL BASE
Upon arrival at the base the settlers would go through the experience of passing through the airlock, getting out of their suits, and being welcomed to the Moon by staff. They would then be taken to their personal rooms and later get a formal tour of the base.

TOURING THE MOON
Practically all lunar settlers and settlers heading to Mars will be interested in touring the Moon. One can imagine a lunar "Grand Tour" hitting the most popular sites within a couple of two-week trips. The tours will mostly be done at ground level using comfortable, self-driving vehicles. "Night" stays would be at intermediate hotels. Popular sites would include the Apollo landing sites, historic rovers, prominent craters, and of course, exploring lava tubes.

Settlement, starting in the form of a few couples moving off Earth indefinitely, could become a reality before 2030.





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