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What’s next for humans after their noteworthy accomplishment on the Moon? Is it possible for us to not only land on our feet on its surface but to build a civilization there?

A sustainable lunar future is far from reality, as it has always been a dream. Even so, it didn’t stop scientists worldwide from learning more about the Moon with utter fascination. We may have explored Mars numerous times in an attempt to find any evidence of life that grows on that red planet. Despite the slim chances, there are no long-term solutions, and the endeavor still needs to be improved.

On another note, that’s where author Scott Harral embarks on a literary journey that explores the possibility of humans occupying the Moon. Harral’s glimpse into the near future as we inhabit the Moon is evident in the book, as it makes us feel hopeful that there might still be another place for us somewhere.

A sustainable lunar future beyond this world

Even with the abundant knowledge of the Moon so far, countless things are yet to be seen—for example, the dark side of it. The Moon may have been responsible for illuminating our planet at night, but has anyone ever seen its version of nighttime? The side that is not facing the Earth?

If we were to desire a sustainable lunar future for the sake of prolonging humanity, there needs to be additional information gathered. It helps to assure us that we can live on the Moon if the Earth reaches past its prime.

Nowadays, lighter and cheaper models have been manufactured and launched to the Moon, emphasizing the need to prioritize lunar missions over the past decade. While there may not be enough space crafts that can carry all of us to the Moon in one go, the efforts towards a sustainable lunar future beyond this world are taking baby steps.

Setting sights on a return to the Moon and the drawbacks to it

The United States is one of the countries that made a tremendous win by setting foot on the Moon. However, with other pressing matters in society, the government is still determining whether to prioritize another lunar expedition again.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) focuses on returning to the Moon in 2024. The Artemis Project has been in the works for a long time, although it is still being determined whether NASA can realistically meet its goals or remain a lofty dream.

What may be the hindrances that pulled a stop to this?

After the government lobbied for the project, Congress outright rejected it, exceptionally requesting an additional budget for construction and expedition plans. NASA wanted to make more rocket boosters and a space capsule that could easily take astronauts to the Moon. Eas is also in a race with time, as they are worried that the Artemis Project will be left in the dust if the government won’t bat an eye on it. They are concerned that a sustainable lunar future will never see the light of day.

Experts are also in a race with time, worried that the Artemis Project will be left in the dust if the government won’t bat an eye on it. They are concerned that a sustainable lunar future will never see the light of day.

What does a sustainable lunar future offer us?

Other than quenching an insatiable scientific curiosity, space exploration, in general, isn’t just a show of force or economic power to those who can afford to do it. This is a noble endeavor that benefits humanity in the long run.

With each mission, even little bits of information unearth more knowledge we need regarding space. After all, the concept of even a sustainable lunar future came through the history of Apollo missions in technology. Satellites were born, enabling us to experience peak technological advancements from the palm of our hands.

Robotic missions overshadowing human efforts?

Lunar missions rely on a human to be on board. The eagerness to explore enabled us to create robots to head onto the Moon in our stead. There were also speculations concerning the capability of robots to collect minerals that will be sent for further geological studies.

Japan proved them wrong by sending Hayabusa2. It landed successfully on an asteroid with a mission to gather minerals and bring them back to Earth. However, in defense of human capability, some experts argue that it needs direct human intervention to understand geology to discover possible life forms. It would take so much effort to encode robots into their tasks compared to a human with knowledge and expertise to uncover what lies beyond.

Final thoughts

Regardless of the valid points, we all have a unified goal: to create a sustainable lunar future for everyone. Our planet is deteriorating, and we can save it if a collective effort exists. However, it helps to have a plan B in case we have nowhere else to go.

If we want to use the Moon as a Launchpad for future scientific innovations and the betterment of humanity, we have to drive ourselves to make it happen. Otherwise, we will continuously fight a losing battle and forever wish for what could have been had we tried to realize a sustainable lunar future.


January 9, 2023 sci-fi0
Photo by Min An

Science fiction as a genre challenges reality and experiments with possibilities. For instance, Scott Harral’s glimpse into the near future as we inhabit the moon highlights a currently-impossible occurrence of people living on the moon.

Science fiction is a well-loved genre because it gives its audience a reason to anticipate a future, especially when living in the present is deemed unbearable. It ignites their imagination to soar and perceive beyond the limitations of their physical world and consciousness, giving them a magnificent experience beyond their reality. Science fiction draws its concepts around the world’s what-ifs, exploring them and allowing people to experience these possibilities.

Science, technology, and people may all have unlimited potential if duly explored, and science fiction takes on the responsibility of doing so. With themes and concepts beyond reality and practicability, science fiction dwells on potential more than the actual.

However, to be great, science fiction must still have some sense of reality. While it tackles lines that are difficult to believe, it must still have something that helps readers ground themselves to believe in its existence or occurrence. In between unfeasible ideas like flying cars, space exploration, and time travel, people would be more interested if the story allowed them to consider reality with these existing. From these what-ifs, people should be moved to question what if the world is this way?

Whether it be an in-depth explanation of how these came about or a thorough equation that might explain why they happen, science fiction concepts should still have a touch of science for them to be effective in catching the audience’s interest.


The Science in Science Fiction

As a basic science fiction rule, the scientific component should play a significant role, if not the story’s focal point. After all, what separates science fiction from fantasy or general fiction, all dealing with the unthinkable, is the former’s science element. While it’s still fictional, “science” still precedes its name, making it a fictional genre sprinkled with or based on scientific concepts.

However, does this immediately merit that one must be competent or, in any way, have the scientific expertise to write a believable and gripping science fiction? Or can they do with a made-up science element to their story?

When asked what science fiction means, the literary field naturally divides the science component into two different perspectives. It’s typically defined as fiction dealing with the influence of actual or imagined science on humans and society, emphasizing the existence and non-limitations of what science is for this genre. As long as there is an exploration of any scientific element, either hypothetical or factual, in the story, it can be considered science fiction.

However, it must be stated that for one to even make-up science, one must still have an inkling of what it is, especially regarding the concept they’re writing about.


How Much Science Does One Need?

Writers don’t need to be knowledgeable about every aspect of science to write science fiction. They’re writing a story, not a textbook. Instead of studying science, in general, they must only be familiar with the field they’re writing about.

For instance, looking at Scott Harral’s Moon Luck as an example, it’s evident that the story’s main point isn’t plausible. People can’t live on the moon. They have tried and failed a couple of times. However, Harral’s glimpse into the near future as we inhabit the moon provides enough explanation, especially on technological matters, making the whole point of the book believable and realistic.

Scott Harral isn’t a scientist nor someone who’s traveled on the moon before. This makes him not a science expert but simply someone enthusiastic about the concept. He only wrote a compelling story on the moon and space exploration because of research rather than on years of scientific background. Before going deep into the lore he built for his book, Harral presumably studied the moon and all the related concepts to write about concretely.

When writing about time travel, one must learn about the basic concepts of time and its theories. They must know about this to make their story, in some way, plausible and authentic. While science fiction is still fiction, it must still be research-focused to avoid having readers raise their eyebrows and scratch their heads when reading the story. This makes science fiction believable: ample research on the concepts tackled, not educational or scientific expertise and experience.



Copyright by Scott Harral 2020. All rights reserved.