Monthly Archives: April 2009

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

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My inspiration for getting into strategy development came from a Heinlein novel that a friend of mine recommended eight years ago. The story takes place on a thriving lunar society in the year 2076. What was so fascinating about the novel was not the technology but how humanity will change as it inhabits the stars. It is a great story and I would highly recommend! I mention this novel primarily because of the power it had to focus my career and set me on a new path.

If we could use a similar media to inspire tomorrow’s explorers, what would it look like?  Maybe a graphic novel?  Graphic novels have been exponentially growing in popularity with a diverse segment of the population. Not only have they grown to take up a whole row in any Barnes and Noble book store, but they are now the source of a growing number of motion pictures. It is a great graphical way to tell a story and engages a whole new generation.

What if we used a graphic novel format to tell the story of the future Human Exploration missions? Could it be used to inspire a whole new generation or at least inform them of the fact that we are going to the moon and onto Mars? 

With that as a background, I would like to offer you the opportunity to shape the path of future explorers.  There is some momentum building on this idea of a graphic novel for space and here is your chance to help steer the storyline for novel. Let me know what you think about the below nine ideas and/or what additional story lines you would recommend.

1. Journey/tale showing various challenges and achievements of three children that all vow to go to the Moon after an inspirational event. They don’t all succeed and life changing events push them to grow in unexpected directions. They all follow different story arcs that occasionally intersect and they are eventually caught up in a global emergency that that takes them to the Moon and beyond.
2. Rescue story demonstrating the ingenuity and spirit of a small lunar outpost crew after the unexpected impact of an asteroid. Using materials salvaged from the outpost they journey to a lava tube below the lunar surface where they set up a temporary base until a vehicle can arrive from Earth.
3. Retrospective of a wealthy entrepreneur that made a fortune in commercial space. From a humble beginning in the rural Midwest, the hero works with NASA as it begins to explore the Moon, asteroids and eventually Mars.
4. Global “Gold Rush” to the Moon after a fusion energy breakthrough make lunar helium 3 very valuable. In competition with “official” missions sponsored by countries are some very shady enterprises that will do whatever it takes to get there first.
5. Explorers on the Moon find evidence of previous visitors. The relics on the Moon point to an ancient base in Antarctica.
6. Inadvertent stowaway on a lunar resupply ship. Child’s experiences on lunar base until the next vehicle goes back to Earth.
7. Dateline Moonbase: Journalists embedded at lunar base report on technical, physical and emotional challenges of living and working in space.
8. First return to the moon; living in the habitat facing challenges with teammates, environment, communication, danger, adversity. Faced with unexpected conflicts, danger, health or injuries.
9. Following a diverse group of tweens in any town America that become interested in space travel. One is chosen later to travel to the moon and another to document the adventure.

Sharing the Vision,
Steven González, Deputy, Advanced Planning Office