Fifty Years of Being Mooned

Dear friends, I hope that you are enjoying life today! It’s evening here on the Cloud and I’m gazing up at a beautiful full moon!

Moon - Man on Moon

This could be you someday!

I can’t believe that it has been fifty years since mankind first landed on the moon. It seems like only yesterday that I was watching Neil Armstrong take that ‘one small step’ on to the lunar surface. No wait, it was yesterday… I was watching a documentary and they showed the historic footage! I’ve always wanted to walk on the moon, so I thought I’d write a guide to visiting our nearest celestial neighbour.

Travelling to the moon is easier than going to Paris, in some ways, and much harder in other ways. Parisians generally look at visitors like they’re from the moon, anyway! How is it easier? Well, you don’t need to worry about currency exchange, passports or even packing, for that matter.

Your meals will be selected for you, you don’t need to shop for a hotel and your day will be packed with activities, so you’ll never be bored! That’s pretty much where the ‘easy part’ ends though.

Travel to the moon is difficult. Afterall, there hasn’t been a scheduled manned flight since December 1972. You can book a flight to travel around the moon on upcoming Spacex flights but you might have to wait a while and you might find it a bit pricey. The estimated price is about US$40 Million and that doesn’t include a landing. Make sure to read the ‘fine print’ on that tour contract, for sure! I’d recommend that you NOT be the first one to book that trip. While seats will be limited, the price will come down with regular operations, I’m sure.

Here’s a Pro-Tip: The new crew module, called Orion, has four seats instead of three like the old Apollo capsule. So, seat availability is increasing by 33%. Now, all you have to do is obtain an advanced degree, qualify to be an astronaut, be selected for a mission, and then you’re off!

Moon - Orion

Seatbelts, everyone!

Once you’re on the moon, you may find the hotel accommodations ‘restrictive’. On the International Space Station, an astronaut’s sleeping space is about 100 cubic feet (less than 2.85 cubic meters) – or about the size of a small closet. Long-term accommodation on the moon may be larger than this but early return missions will be very cramped indeed. Buzz Aldrin had to sleep on the floor of the first lunar lander while Commander Neil Armstrong curled up on top of a service unit.

Your food options are somewhat limited as well. The food will be healthy, of course, and well balanced. There have been great advances in the past fifty years on the flavour, variety and texture of space food but, in the end, it probably won’t warrant a Michelin Star. Since toilet facilities are ‘somewhat limited’ you might prefer to eat light anyway.

Moon - Space Walk

The views from the balcony are out of this world!

The best part of the moon trip must be the exciting excursions that you can undertake! Moon gravity is one sixth that of the earth so you’ll be able to walk a long way without becoming too tired. New generation spacesuits will increase your mobility over the old clunky and heavier models of the Apollo era. Imagine bounding about on the moon’s surface and enjoying the sense of adventure as you explore. Plus, there will be excellent opportunities to take that perfect Instagram picture!

There’s not a lot of shopping on the moon, but there are plenty of things to bring back from your trip. Moon rocks are excellent souvenirs as they have an appraised value of £40,000 (US$51,000) per gram! A person was even arrested in 2012 for trying to sell a stolen moon rock for US$1.7 Million. So, make sure to fill your pockets for you return to earth.

Here’s a final Pro-Tip: Apparently, moon rocks smell bad. According to the astronauts who have been on the moon, the lunar regolith (kind of like our soil back on earth) smells like spent gunpowder. Apparently, it is a sharp smell, so wipe those feet before you re-enter the lunar module.

moon surface

Remember to bring clothes with pockets!

I hope that one day we will all be able to visit the moon. On this fiftieth anniversary of the first landing, however, it is remarkable to consider the accomplishment of those brave pioneers who made it happen.

 

Love,

 

Isabella

 

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