Assuring Mental Health Among
Future Lunar Frontier Pioneers

Space 1999 Moonbase Alpha sporting a “happy face”
By Peter Kokh
Initially published in Moon Miners' Manifesto #212, February 2008
© 2008, The Lunar Reclamation Society


    A central focus of MM “Manifesto” from the start has been to show how, using lunar resources, pioneers can make themselves “at home” on the Moon. This will include psychological, physiological, social and cultural adjustment to living in the Lunar environment, perceived by us outsiders as “alien.”

    It is crucial that pioneers, people who may or may not have originally come “for a tour of duty” but have decided to stay, must get to that stage where they are “at home” on the Moon, comfortable with it, feeling secure. Staffing a settlement with recruits for limited tours of duty will not promote this transformation into a population of “Lunans” unless there is an aggressive strategy of perks that keep personnel happy, while minimizing homesickness and encouraging an increasing comfort level with this new setting. Without  such perks, recruits will be  discouraged from “re-upping” or reenlisting or “going permanent.”

    Once we are building new habitat and activity modules from made-on-Luna building materials, we can get well beyond the “sardine-can” era of early outposts. Real elbow room and ample private space will be essential. We need to emphasize “contact”, visual, and activity wise with the Moon: windows, sunshine access, and abundant interior vegetation to keep the air fresh and sweet.

    We will need to develop a varied and interesting developing cuisine using plants, herbs, and spices grown on location. Regolith-derived art media will allow us to personalize interior spaces with frontier made accessories of basalt, ceramic, glass, lunar cement, and locally made alloys.

    We need to invent and develop one sixth-G sports as well as dance forms. We need to be able to enjoy uniquely Lunan performances as they will help bond us to the lunar setting. Recreation inside, “middoors”, and “out-vac” will allow us to be fully human in any lunar setting.

    We need to establish multiple outposts, multiple settings --  getaway places with climate variety, flora and fauna variety, different architectural styles, differing cuisines, etc. We all need to “getaway” once in a while, and we have to enable that form of relief on the Moon itself. “ settlement a world doth not make!”

    It is not enough to humanize our interior living spaces. We need to adopt the surrounding raw lunar surface outside our habitats and integrate it into our living space. If we do not, we will continue to feel  feel that we are in a alien environment. In short, we need to feel “at home” on the surface as well as indoors.

    We need to be comfortable with the Moon’s rhythms, the slow pace of the dayspan-nightspan cycle. Our productive activities will have to get in step with that pace as available energy will wax and wane accordingly. Even if we have a back-up nuke, we will still have more available energy during dayspan when solar energy is also available. This rhythm will impose a fortnightly change of pace, something we bet pioneers will come to cherish.

    We need to find ways to counter the “black sky blues.” Out on the lunar surface, We will develop ever more enjoyable substitutes for outdoor hobbies and activities that we had to leave behind on Earth.

    In other words, we need to find, create, or develop substitutes for everything we enjoyed on Earth that cannot be imported “as is” from Earth, simply because the Moon is such a drastically different environment. If we fail to do so, life on the Moon will giver rise to many kids of psychological disorders. We must strip the Moon of its alienness by doing what we can to meet her halfway. I firmly believe we can rise to the occasion!

Introducing “perks” in the first outposts

    The most critical moonbase system to success is the human one.  Our goal of breaking out of the outpost trap towards settlement, means finding ways to encourage personnel to willingly re-up, stay for “another tour” without limit, so long as health of the individual and of the crew at large is not an issue. These measures will:
We must provide for a full range of human activities:
    All this both presupposes and prepares for an orderly expansion beyond the original core-function and space limits of the original outpost. It’s what we need to do to “breakout of the Outpost Trap.”

Point by Point elaboration

Made-on-Luna Habitat & Activity Expansion Modules

    Lunar concrete, glass-glass composites and iron, aluminum, magnesium, and titanium alloys are materials science technologies that need to be pre-developed now using lunar simulant feedstocks. We cannot afford to expand by bringing these heavyweight structures from Earth. Inflatables may be a stopgap way of providing expansion space early on, but are still too expensive for building real settlements. We need to develop a modular language that will lend itself to a great variety of layouts. That language should be open-ended. The very awareness that one has begun to “live of the lunar land” in this major way will reduce our sense of alienation, and increase our sense of security.

Towards a modular biospherics

    Centralized biological life support systems (BLSS) such as Biosphere II involve a lot of effort that quickly becomes useless as it precludes growth. These made-on-Luna modules should each incorporate a significant biospheric element, pretreating toilet wastes and using vegetation to refresh the air. With this design constraint, the growth of the pressurized physical complex will not outpace the growth of the biospheric life support system, and new modules can incorporate improved systems, so that the total biosphere becomes ever larger and more collapse-resistant. With such a system, short term crew as well as the long-term pioneers that follow will grow ever more confident that their presence on the Moon is well-founded and hearty.

This 110 sq. ft. (9 sq/ m/) "living wall" unit purifies all the air within a 7,500 sq. ft. (700 sq. m.) building

Beyond a minimum “balanced nutrition” diet

    There have been many studies of how we could provide balanced nutrition with a minimum number of crops. That’s certainly a useless dead-end avenue of investigation. Nothing is more essential to good morale than good food. And by good food, we mean tasty food and a goodly variety of it. If we need to trim the list, we should concentrate first on those foodstuffs that can be served and prepared in the greatest variety of ways -- potatoes being near the top in that regard. We also need to grow herbs, spices, and salad stuffs that can be eaten fresh as well as lending themselves to a wide variety of cooked dishes. We might have to settle for a closet-sized growth chamber for starters, but surely, no-one is going to leave Earth in their rear view mirror something that approximates solyent green or algae mush. A starter list of choices can always be complemented by privately grown specialty items, even in a small outpost. As the settlement grows, this will become a great opportunity for “cottage industry” - think jams, condiments, etc.

Keeping physically fit

    It never ceases to amaze me how many pro-space people equate 1/6th-G with zero-G. The difference, at least mathematically, is infinite. Muscle tone will decay of course, but then level off at a plateau appreciably higher than is the case for those spending many months in Earth-orbit or free space.

    At first, “keeping fit” will mean keeping in shape to return to Earth ready to resume normal activities when one gets back. But as temporary crews slowly transition to a population that includes a significant percentage of permanent pioneers, “keeping fit” will mean what it should, able to work and play with relative ease in what will have become one’s home environment.

   Terrestrial sports transplanted to the Moon will be just absurd caricatures of the sports we now enjoy. We need to invent sports forms that are interesting to watch and fun to play in an environment where gravity and traction are greatly reduced, while momentum and impact force remain the same. We could start now, with a computer program based on those parameters, applied to both sports and choreography. Future Lunans will miss terrestrial sports and dance less, the sooner they can enjoy sports and dance designed for the lunar environment. The morale boost will apply to players and performers as well as to spectators. Lunar sports, lunar acrobatics, lunar dance and ice-skating forms may gain an audience back on Earth via live or canned telecasts and the Internet.

    But we do need to provide special gyms and devices whereby one who wants to maintain an Earth-fit state, to do so. It is one thing to appreciate how much one has adapted to the Moon, another to feel trapped on the Moon because one has lost his/her Earth muscles. The simplest way to retain one’s original muscle tone is by isometric exercises that pit muscle against muscle rather than muscle against gravity. exercise in a banked floor rotating gym at variable rates would be an advanced way to preserve one’s “Earth legs.”

Settlement climate, flora and fauna, even wildlife are wide open choices

    As we are talking about contained climates and ecosystems, we can control the settlement climate and seasons. Not everyone enjoys the same climate. While many snowbelters yearn to relocate further south, this writer cannot tolerate heat with humidity, and would rather go further north. Because settlements will have a great measure of control over these things, even apart from cultural and architectural differences, the Moon need not be a world where “once you’ve seen one lunar settlement, you’ll have seen them all.” Not only will variety in these areas work to increase the typical length of an Earth tourist visit by lengthening the itinerary, it will give future Lunans more places to get away to for a welcome change of scenery.

It is not enough to be “at home” inside one’s homestead and settlement

   If this is all one accomplishes, a residual uncomfortableness with the barren, hostile moonscapes outside -- “out-vac” -- may remain. Some will feel imprisoned, and even dread venturing abroad. But there are ways, analogous to how we are learning to do this here on Earth, to both “bring the outside indoors” and “take the indoors outside.” For example we could create indoor garden spaces in Zen fashion, using raw regolith (sifted of its ultra fine powder fraction) and lunar stones and boulders, in a cast basalt pan.
Zen Garden in a tray
    Art accessories can be made of carved basalt or cast basalt, lunar raw blackish glass, etc. We could do something similar outside airlocks using stone or cast basalt “patio” furniture and sculptures. Both approaches would help create a visual transition between exterior surface and interior decor. Once could even create a glass enclosed water feature outside. This will be easier in shaded places with greatly reduced thermal exposure.

Inside, “middoors”, “lee-vac”, “out-vac”

    Here on Earth, we commonly think of just two spaces, indoors and outdoors. However, we are all familiar with a transition space - the walkway commons of enclosed shopping malls. In this example, “indoors” would refer to the interior of the various shops and stores. In a settlement with modular residences, offices, schools etc., interconnected by pressurized walkways, vehicular conduits, and pressurized plazas, courtyards, and parks, these interconnecting passages and spacious nodes/hubs form a sort of “middoors” environment. The middoors could be allowed to cycle between cooler and warmer periods in “moderated” synch with the outside or “out-vac” thermal cycles of the exposed lunar surface. While individual homesteads, offices, and other activity spaces could maintain a constant climate, the middoors would moderate the changes occurring on the surface, varying perhaps twenty degrees Fahrenheit, 36 degrees Celsius above and below “room temperature. That is one of many options.

    A third kind of environment, which in turn moderates the thermal and radiation extremes of the fully exposed surface is “lee-vac”  (leeward of the cosmic weather.) An example is a sheltered but unpressurized structure, canopy, or ramada within which one is protected from the cosmic elements of radiation and micrometeorite rain, as well as from the full heat of dayspan noon on the exposed lunar surface. Lee-vac spaces  would be ideal for warehousing items and supplies that are accessed frequently. In such an environment lighter weight pressure suits would be sufficient, allowing much greater freedom of movement, greatly increasing the time one could work without fatigue.

    We can see such a sheltered, but unpressurized sports complex. Sports designed especially for this environment would be different from those designed for pressurized play environments. pressurized spectator stands could line the interior side walls of such sheltered and shielded fields could have large windows, protected from meteorite impact. As these sports would be quite distinct from those played in fully pressurized environments, creating such sport environments would increase the variety of sports fare, improving pioneer satisfaction with their adopted home world.

Unpressurized Lee-Vac Sports Arena

    Finally, we can see development of various kinds of sports and sporting activities for the naked exposed lunar surface itself - the “out-vac.” This great variety of sports fare crossing the boundaries of raw exposed lunar surface and settlement interiors, would help psychologically integrate the lunar surface into the overall pioneer lebensraum - living space. The result would an increase in the average Lunan pioneer  comfort zone, a mitigation of a “trapped indoors” feeling, and a slow dissipation of the initial tendency to feel like a “stranger in a strange land.”
Ski Moon
A "unicycle"
a “unicycle ATV

    For young people, regular school outings onto the surface would help. And undoubtedly tourist surface excursions will become the specialty of emergent enterprises, serving both visitors from Old Earth and pioneers of the New Moon. Until this familiarity and comfort level  with the  the raw host environment develops, we can expect some incidence of exophobia to develop, along with a feeling of being trapped.

    Adaptations like this are nothing new to humans. Take a person out of his/her native tropics and drop him/her along the arctic coasts, and he/she might soon perish. Eskimos, Innuit, Samoyeds are at home here. They learned to be at home. An initially life-threatening environment is, for them, no longer to be feared. Simply put, the have learned how to cope with the evident extremes and dangers “as if by second nature.” When future pioneers have leaned how to cope with conditions once perceived as hostile to life, and those coping measures have become “second nature,” they will have become “at home.” The Moon, for them, will have ceased to become a hostile, inimical place. It will have become home. Such a transition will be essential for their mental and psychological health. Those who cannot make or resist making the transition will become failed settlers, and will either return to Earth or become a burden to those who have successfully transitioned.

The “Black Sky Blues”

    One of the hardest things to get used to in the lunar environment will be the black skies, at high dayspan noon as well as at mid-nightspan. And they are black indeed. When the sun is up, the glare off the moondust forces eye pupils to adjust to the point where one cannot see the stars. We have evolved in the brilliant blue day lit skies of Earth. Mars also has bright skies because unlike the Moon, it has an appreciable atmosphere. Getting used to that black sky may be harder for some than for others such as night owls who do not like to get up until the sun has set. For the rest of us this could be a problem.

    Indoors, ceilings could be vaulted instead of flat, painted a matte sky blue and uplit from cove mounted bulbs. This would create welcome eye relief. This will be especially welcome in high dome ceilinged middoor spaces such as settlement plazas and park spaces.

    Uplit matte sky blue awnings mounted on the side of vehicles could give similar eye relief to those traveling across the lunar surface. Remember, that with no air, there is no wind, so unfurled awnings of this type should be no problem.

Taking the monotony out of “Magnificent Desolation”

    I have heard my Grandmother say (while in northern New Mexico) that “when you’ve seen one mountain you’ve seen them all.” For one whose soul as always been in the mountains (and not the beaches, where indeed, one wave looks like every other) I can’t sympathize with that. But unless we take care to educate future pioneers how to read the shapes of craters, their width and depth, the presence or absence of central peaks, the amount of debris on their floors and on their flanks, they might get to feeling that “when you’ve seen one crater, you’ve seen them all.” A good course in selenology and feature appreciation will make the scapes along the road endlessly interesting and thrilling. If we want our future Lunans to appreciate their adopted home world rather than be forever bored by it, we have to first learn how to appreciate it ourselves, and then learn how to pass those insights and the spirit of endless wonder in others. I have run into many Moon-enthusiasts who are really not at all familiar with the Moon’s surface features, even the nearside ones. Get yourself a good lunar telescope (wide angle, low to modest power) and start exploring, learning names as you go along.

    For Lunans, perhaps the most special time to be abroad out on the lunar surface will be during what we call a total lunar eclipse. During full eclipse (the umbra period), the only light reaching the nearside lunar surface is sunlight filtered by the dust in Earth’s atmosphere which appears as an orange halo in the lunar sky. But more interesting than the sight of Earth as a lit halo, will be the moonscapes themselves, ruddy in the dim light, looking much more like Mars at dusk or just before dawn.
Surface architectures for Lunar habitats that pay homage to the moonscape yet stand proud.

    When it comes to visions of lunar settlements, two clichés persist: a complex of molehill-like, mounds of  moondust covering trenched-in horizontal cylinders, and giant glass or unobtanium domes encasing whole cities, skyscrapers and all. The physical problems of the later make them most unlikely. On a world with an unbreathable atmosphere of a density comparable to what we will want to breath, there is no problem. But that much air pressure facing vacuum outside would rip the dome from any restraints and send it hurtling spaceward.

    As to the “molehill” we could conceivably give each the personal touch by simply raking it in patterns, covering it with a lighter or darker variety of moondust, covering it with lunar boulders with or without a pattern, and other means. The question is “do we want to blend in or stand proud? Our bet is that we can do both, using materials that blend in, but patterns that by sheer regularity and design, stand proud. Our architectures in so far as they show from above should pay homage to the host world, rather than be statements of defiance. If we want to be at home, we need to design accordingly.

    Yet it should be possible to build multistory fully shielded pressurized structures above the surface for hotels and other uses, that pay homage in choice of materials and colors, yet stand proud. The hotel below is a pyramid of torus stories of decreasing outer diameter with a vertical elevator-containing cylinder at the middle. An embossed caisson ring holds regolith in place to shield every level.
Luna City Hotel sketch*

A bit of Old Earth

    It is one thing to leave Earth behind, but quite another to leave one’s past behind. As expense as i it is to import anything from Earth, pioneer volunteers should be given a weigh and volume allowance to bring along treasured heirlooms or items of great significance in one’s personal history. Say 100 pounds and 2 cubic feet give or take. Pioneers could sell or trade unused weight allowances as some will want more, others need less.

    These personal treasures will help tie together their former and new lives. A complete break would be unwise and become the breading ground for neurosis or psychosis. Some things, such as photographs, can be brought along in electronic form. But actual paintings, art objects, pieces of clothing, an heirloom furniture item, must make the journey in the concrete, though with enough shape, texture, and color information some items could be recreated on the Moon as reasonable facsimiles.

A shopper’s paradise? Not exactly

    With imports from Earth being astronomically expensive, and with initial lunar industries having a relatively small market to serve, there will be few choices. Unless (1) we produce only basic simple “standard issue” items and (2) we design them to serve as is, but also to be modification friendly. Purchasers could then give them a personal touch at their leisure, or, for those with little time and/or talent, “issue” wears and wares could be entrusted to talented craftsman and artists on  commission to personalize such items for the customer during free time before or after day job duties.

    Such a development could see the early years of a settlement becoming a golden age for lunar craftsmen and artists, all in the name of variety and choice, something we all value as contributing to life satisfaction. Creating a home environment that reflects our one personalities is a basic drive, creating a “safe place” in an otherwise uncaring universe.

    However, anything Lunans produce for their own domestic needs are potential exports to other in-space communities (orbital hotel complexes and industrial parks for example) at a cost advantage over similar items made on Earth’s surface. Thus an initially small lunar market will grow both on and off the Moon, allowing manufacturers to expand their product lines.  Meanwhile a whole suite of cottage industries may be spawned.

The role of music

   We are used to making music with instruments it may be very hard to produce on the Moon. We will have no wood (we will want to recycle all waste biomass back into the biosphere), no copper or brass. However, people are enormously inventive when it comes to making music. The steel drum has to be my #1 favorite instrument (for listening, not playing) We will have glass, ceramics, other metals. Marimbas anyone! Our homegrown instruments will give lunar music a distinctive sound.

Reinforcing our identification with our new adopted world.

Learning not to fear the Night(span)

    No human has  ever been on the Moon at night. unfamiliarity builds fear and timidity. What we fear most about the two-week long lunar nightspan is just that. It lasts for 14 and three quarter days. That’s a long time to go without the heat, light, and power of the sun. It requires power storage. For some strange unfathomable reason, the idea of storing power frightens a lot of people. This is hard to understand given that our whole civilization is bases on stored power, whether it be the potential power of water stored up behind a dam, or the potential power of wood and other combustible fuels. We seem hell-bent on going to the lunar poles where solar power may be available 70-80% of the time. But we will still have to store power for the 20-30% of the time. So why not learn to store power for 50 % of the time and then we can go anywhere. Fuel Cells and flywheels and other means are ready to go technologies.

    We may still have to conserve power during nightspan. If we try to reorganize all our mining and manufacturing operations so that we can sequentially do the power intensive things during dayspan and the power-light but manpower-intensive things during nightspan, to the extent that such sequencing is practical,. we will do just fine. This will create an operational rhythm that gives most pioneers a welcome bimonthly change of pace.

Learning to live and work on Moontime to the beat of the Moon’s own rhythms

Continuing the discussion above, while commerce with Earth would be ruled by the Earth standard calendar. life on the Moon could follow the dayspan-nightspan sequence, with each month (or better, “sunth” would coincide with one dayspan-nightspan cycle, a cycle that will certainly govern mining and manufacturing. A sunth would be 29.53 days long, so a sunth-pair would be 59 days, with an added leap hour every 40 days. We could even schedule “local” weekends to that one would occur during dayspan when we need to concentrate on productivity, one at the start of nightspan, one in mid-nightspan, and the 4th just before dawn. What about weeks. All through history, attempts to assign more or less days to a week than seven have met with strongly resistance. To keep the sunths sequencing on time, we could have a free extra day three weeks out of every eight, and if those were weekend days, I predict there would be little resistance except from fundamentalists who believe Earth time pervades the universe.

    We have two similar “lunar calendars” in use on Earth: one Jewish, the other Islamic. No one has figured out a way to mate lunar years (some with 12 months, some with 13) to match up with our standard 365.25 day year-based calendar. Actually as 235 lunar periods equal almost exactly 19 standard years, there is that concordance. But the simplest thing is to use the Earth standard calendar to govern commerce and mark years, and the lunar sunth calendar to govern productive activities. ONe further note: on Earth we have 24 time zones offset by an hour each. As the Moon turns so slowly, and dawn at one location can be as much as 24.75 days before or after dawn at another location, sunth-rhythm based calendars will be purely local scheduling aids, and Lunans too will use the Earth standard calendar for marking common dates and events.

Bringing up the first and future generations of native-born Lunans

    The first and future generations of pioneers actually born on the Moon, or at least growing up on the Moon, will take the lunar environment for granted. But unlike the situation facing young people on Earth, they must learn to appreciate the fragility of lunar settlements, not just with regard to maintaining a positive trade balance with Earth and other pockets of humanity as may arise but with regard to maintaining their artificially created mini-biospheres in good health. For Lunan youth, this will be of much greater concern ad due attention than it is for us on Earth. While our environment, suffering from lack of attention and diffidence appears to be degrading before our eyes, lunar settlement biospheres could hit the skids and collapse in a much shorter time frame. Inside these oases in the lunar desert, we will be living essentially downwind and downstream of ourselves. Our lunar ecosystems will need to be maintained within relatively unforgiving tolerances. Unless the health of the biosphere component of our settlements is a factor in the daily life decisions of all Lunans, the prognosis for long term survival is not good.

    It will be essential that all Lunans are schooled in how the biosphere works and in what we need to do, not just as a community, but as individuals, to maintain it.  Courses about the biosphere and how group and individual behavior can help or hurt in keeping it in good operating condition should be started in the earliest school grade levels, going into greater depth as students advance. On the moon, there will be a “4th R”, recycling. Proper recycling begins with proper manufacturing and proper packaging. Assembly should be in “knock-down” fashion so that unlike components can easily be recycled separately. Manufactured items embody the energy of manufacture and elements withdrawn from nature. The less we return to nature as trash, instead of reusing, the more total energy we will consume and  the more raw material we will throughput, or to put it bluntly, excrete. Our settlement efficiency index will be a measure of how little energy we consume and how little we excrete to achieve a given standard of living. Lunans must never forget that economic survival is problematic. We are behind the economic eight ball. We need to make the most out of the least in order to go beyond survival to the state of thriving. A well-grounded realization that our are settlements are thriving, will do much to promote a sense of well-being, that we stand to turn our new world over to the next generation in good health. To the extent that we get low marks in these efforts, the rise of neuroses  and psychoses may be appreciable.

The place of youth in all this.

    While many believe we should postpone procreation on the Moon until we are sure that our offspring will be healthy, such a position is demonstrably absurd. We cannot know for sure that native-born Lunans will be hale and healthy until we see that the children of native born Lunans have no appreciable physical and health defects. In other words, the only way we can be sure is by taking the plunge, the sooner the better.

    To forbid the first generation of settlers to raise families would measurably lower their happiness level, and their satisfaction with life on their new homeworld. It will also negatively affect the happiness level of the first generation of older pioneers, for whom grand-parenting is one of the great rewards of advancing age.

    Youth can be entrusted with environmental chores. Collecting, disassembling, and sorting recyclables for instance. Picking up and sorting trash is another. Older children can assemble new artifacts and new toys out of the disassembled, sorted parts of old ones.

    Young people coming of age, say 18, could be put to work in a universal service core maintaining the life support systems such as waste water treatment and air refreshing, and farming duties. This would instill in them an appreciation for what makes a settlement biosphere works. The greater the fraction of young people who appreciate such things, the more sure all can be that their settlement will survive and thrive long past their individual deaths. In short properly educated youth will mean a greater comfort and sense of security for all.

The place of retired people and seniors in all this

    In the early days of outposts-no-yet-settlements, aging frontier volunteers may be “paroled” to Earth at the end of their “usefulness.” While those in their working years may not want to “carry” retired or other older citizens, such attitudes betray a great ignorance about how society works. We’ve all heard the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child.” Grandparents and other seniors are a vital part of any such village. Grandparents can help raise children while parents are busy working in jobs that produce income-earning exports. The personal knowledge and wisdom that seniors have to impart is a vital complement to what teachers do. And there are light chores seniors can do to free younger people for more productive roles. They can do the lion’s share of needed clerical work: bookkeeping, database work, communications: the list goes on. This helps rather than hurts the overall efficiency of an all-generation settlement.

    Seniors in general are happier than those of middle age. They are more satisfied with their lives and achievements. They have a better sense of what, when all is said and done, really counts in life. Without them, a settlement would soon be adrift. They are anchors.

The place of pets and “urban wildlife”

    The latest evidence tracing the mitochondria trail, is that wolves transitioned to dogs in just one place, somewhere in east asia, about 15,000 years ago. Those wolves who, on spotting a human, fled out of caution from the trash dumps of early stone age villages got less food than those who were less fearful of humans. They got to produce more offspring. Humans in turn selected for more and more tame animals.

    Early dogs allowed Siberians, Eskimos and Innuit to settle the high arctic. They allowed mountain-dwellers to tame mountain sheep and goats. Their bark created an early warning system and dogs quickly spread by trade to all peoples around the world. Wolves became dogs as Cro-Magnon peoples became human.

    The growing percentage of people who rent housing from landlords who do not allow pets, is producing an ever larger percentage of youth growing up with no appreciation of these humanized companions. Is there a place for dogs, cats, and other pets on the Moon?

    There will be challenges to be sure. I remember seeing a cartoon with a dog in a spacesuit lifting its left over a lunar boulder. But to those who accept them, challenges become opportunities.

    There can be no doubt about the psychological benefits of pet ownership. The benefits for seniors is well-documented. Such seniors live longer, happier, more fulfilled lives than those who do not have pets, and are much less prone to depression and loneliness. In young people, pet dogs who love so unquestioningly, bring out the good social qualities, fostering empathy, compassion and consideration for others.

    The question is how they will fit in within size and resource-restricted space frontier settlements. But only those who have not had the fortune to be loved by a pet can question that we will find a way. Speaking for myself, I would not sign up as a pioneer if my right to have a pet was at risk. I cannot imagine in a petless situation being as totally happy with life as I am now.

    As to urban wildlife, some are pests, others not. We would miss a lot in a settlement with no butterflies, no birds, no fish, no squirrels. I believe we can share our frontier spaces with carefully selected species, with the balance between advantages and drawbacks decidedly in the positive. If only neutered animals were released into the ecosystem and/or to private ownership, with all breeding stock being securely isolated, there would be no danger of runaway populations.

Temporary Conclusions

    We make no claim to have “covered” the field of possible mental health issues and adjustment issues that will affect future lunar settlers, Lunans. But we trust that this is a good start. Some things we have not touched upon, but have affected pioneers throughout human history, is the recurrent emotions relating to places and people they have left behind, including friends and relatives. But issues like these have already been widely studied and there is little unique in the lunar frontier situation to warrant bringing them up again.

    Inevitably, some pioneers will fail to make a healthy transition and may need to return to their home world. For future new Lunans this will be much easier, and much cheaper, than for future new Martians. But otherwise, much of what we have suggested above will also apply to pioneers on Mars, “mutatis mutandis.”

     To The Moon!        <PK>.