Image from PortalHunter
The Moon in the Interplanetary Age
Early era Lunar station
Image from Lilly Harper
An early era Lunar station

Luna - Data Panel

Type:Selenian Subtype
Diameter:3474 km
Gravity:0.166 gee
Orbital period:27.32166 days
Atmosphere:In the Current Era much of Luna is paraterraformed under Bluesky domes
Surface temperature:Vacuum: -153C to 107C
Paraterraformed zones: 12C to 27C
Administration:Solsys Organisation member world
Population:1.063 billion sophonts (47% sophtwares, 12% lunar gravity tweaks, 12% vecs, 10% provolves, 10% near-baseline humans, 7% superiors, 2% vac-adapted lunar gravity tweaks)

Earth and Luna
Image from Steve Bowers
The Earth and Moon in the Interplanetary Age, when the Earth still had a hi-tech civilisation on its surface. Since that time, of course, the Earth has been almost completely depopulated during the Great Expulsion; however Luna is still a thriving world, the most ancient of all human colonies.

Natural satellite of Earth. Home to permanent human settlement since the late information age, Luna (originally called the Moon, as it was the first one known by humankind) is a densely populated world, rich in history; the oldest Terragen colony on another celestial object. The first humans to set foot on the Moon were Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin in 1969 c.e. (note - c.e. = the old Common Era calendar used on Earth). The new Lunar colonies adopted this date as their year zero, and the new dating system became known as the 'After Tranquility' (A.T. or a.t.) calendar.

The first steps towards building a permanent colony on Luna began in 68 A.T., when remote-controlled 'telenaut' devices began constructing infrastructure there; no accommodation for humans was made at this stage. Human colonisation began in 91 A.T. and even in 119 A.T. the largest settlement, Artemis, held only 200 people.

An extensive array of black-silicon or aluminium-mirror solar-power collectors powered these new colonies. Many of these panels were situated in a wide band around the equator to supply power to the equatorial mass driver; this was actually a series of launching ramps connected by a freight railroad network, which was set up to launch exports of iron, titanium, aluminium, oxygen and hi-tech goods into orbit. Many of the spacecraft that explored and colonised the worlds of the old Sol system were built partly or wholly from lunar materials.

Another major product of Lunar mining and construction in the early history of the colony was orbiting solar-power collector satellites; a large swarm at the Earth/Sun L1 Lagrange point delivered extra power to Luna, exported power to Earth and helped to propel spacecraft via an early boostbeam system.

Luna - nearside
Image from Steve Bowers
Colonies on the Nearside of Luna in 300 AT

Territories of Luna, 331 AT (2300 CE)


-State of Selene, United States of America - Armstrong, Schmitt
-Independent corporate territories - Aldrin, Aristarchus
-European Federation initiative - Tycho City
-Russian Republic dependent territories - Lunograd, Flamsteed
-Japanese Corporate Republic - Tsukuyomi
-International free ports - Artemis, the largest and oldest city; Copernicus (crater completely pressurised)
-International free agriculture development station - Earthview (Plato) (crater completely pressurised)
-Syndicate of Chinese Provinces lunar cantons - Yueyuan, Chang-e
-South Asian Compact colony - Chandra
-Brazilian colony - Mar das Chuvas (Mare Imbrium) (the Chandra and Imbrium colonies are centres for the processing of KREEP, a lunar rock containing uranium)


-Luna Silicon Initiative (Neumann dominated mining company)
-Greater South Africa Republic colony - Mandela
-Syndicate of Chinese Provinces lunar canton - Heng-o
-Indonesian corporate development - Darkside (Planck Crater)
-McKendrick Moon Mining combine (vec dominated mining company) - Mendeleev Crater
-Russian Republic dependent territory - Korolev

Lunar society became a model of integration between nearbaseline, superior and AI culture, with many of the earliest superturing entities (such as Mycroft) becoming respected members of Lunar society.

Unfortunately the chaos of the Technocalypse caused both loss of life and degradation of artificial intelligence substrates. After the Great Expulsion, billions of refugees from Earth were accommodated in vast underground warrens in terrible conditions.

Luna became the new capital world of the Solar System when the Dark Age came to an end, though sometimes since it has lost the title to Mars or Ceres. The Lunar Calendar starting at 1 A.T. was widely adopted in the Solar System, and after the establishment of the First Federation this system became a widely used standard throughout the Terragen Sphere. As the Lunar Calendar has the same year length as the old Earth calendar, dates can be easily converted. See also Calendars and Timekeeping in the Terragen Sphere.

Luna in the Current Era

Luna in 10600 AT
Image from Steve Bowers
Luna in the Current Era; the Far Side from Earth is covered in worldhouses, while the Nearside is kept relatively pristine

Although Luna has never been fully terraformed, the idea was raised a few times during the following centuries, but was vehemently vetoed by the Lunarians, who described it as terranist environmental imperialism. There are extensive bluesky domes, as well as a number of underground settlements. Tourism in the non-paraterraformed areas includes observation domes and the scenic maglev railways. On the side of Luna that faces Earth, most signs of civilisation are camoflaged, in order to make the Moon appear as untouched as possible as seen from GAIA's Earth.

Major Lunarian cities include Artemis (where one can find a nanoreplica of the original first moonbase), Lunograd, Tycho City (an important cultural center - the Tycho Museum of History is a popular tourist stop), Earthview, Armstrong, Copernicus (with its quaint First Federation period architecture), an array of large surface bluesky parks and recreation areas, Aldrin, Schmitt, Tsukuyomi, Imbrium, Serenatis, and Darkside.

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Development Notes
Text by Anders Sandberg
Additional Material by Steve Bowers
Initially published on 17 October 2008.