Tuesday, December 12, 2006
NASA: New Permanent Moon Base Coming Soon!
According to this article, NASA plans to build a new permanent base on the Moon (of Earth) by 2024.
Having read Ben Bova's fantastic 1998 novel _Moonwar_, as well as its sequels and every other book related to it... I think this is a fantastic idea. As Bova lays out in his science-fiction scenario, nanotech is essentially banned on Earth due to a confluence of environmentalists and fundamentalists who are afraid of it for very different reasons. As a result, the Moon is the only legal place for nanotech research to continue, and as a result, the economy on the Moon flourishes. To the point that it declares independence from the Earth and becomes its own country/independent political entity. It is able to do so because it becomes mostly self-sufficient, and only needs to import mostly non-essential items from Earth.
So, the common complaint about science fiction is that, well, it's fiction. This presumes that it is not likely to become reality.
However, the very name "science fiction" involves some rooting in reality. And I think that the common theme, as we move deeper into the 21st century and continue to experience technological innovation, is that of science fiction becoming science fact. And sometimes, political and social fact, to the extent that science fiction has often been used as a vehicle for social and political analysis (just about as often as it has been used as a vehicle for the proposal of future technological innovations, actually).
So, I hereby raise a toast to our future moon base. And after that, the independent nation of Luna.