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Rocket Moon Shuttle to Mars

An Interplanetary Panama Canal
 
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At least one presidential candidate here in the good ol' U.S. of A. has mentioned in more than one stump speech that we will eventually have a colony on the moon. I can't imagine people will be satisfied with that for long after it is established; they will want to use it as a springboard to travel to other planets such as Mars.

But who wants to be cooped up in a cramped and grimy spaceship for almost a year sitting next to the guy you soon discover has irritable bowel syndrome? Why not skip the middleman and use the moon itself to shuttle back and forth between the planets? The moon will be fully populated with a support staff similar to that of Panama (who has eked out a very comfortable existence shepherding container ships back and forth across their turf). Their sole purpose will be to make your planet hopping experiences fun and entertaining.

Wide open spaces! Room to roam! The moon will be fully stocked with the essentials (beer and toilet paper) and feature all the comforts of home while accommodating every budget. Rental residences will range from the Lunar Hilton to trailer parks full of old cars up on blocks. Schools, grocery stores, go cart tracks, parimutuel horse racing and bordellos will all be available. When at last the moon arrives to orbit the Red Planet a year or so later, simply hop on the shuttle and head down to explore to your heart's content -- rested, refreshed, and clutching your Lunar Dart Tourney Trophy.

The moon will take on other passengers and fling itself back toward Earth, finally arriving some months later.

Now THAT is mass transit.

Just in case some whiners back on Earth go on and on about cataclysmic repercussions of the lack of lunar influence on pesky things like ocean tides, a fully funded government program should be set up to address these concerns with empathetic form letters and complimentary dinner mints.

Grogster, Mar 21 2012

Cycler orbit http://buzzaldrin.c...aldrin-mars-cycler/
If we had a competent government and/or society we would already be doing this. [DIYMatt, Mar 21 2012]

[link]






       The best lunar colony in fiction is that of 'Steel Beach', by John Varley. Use that as the logistical template for your habitation areas. Can't fail.
Alterother, Mar 21 2012
  

       The moon as a space craft is baked in fiction - space 1999.
spidermother, Mar 21 2012
  

       Overbaked in fiction, but I believe the Grogmonster has his sights set on reality. I, for one, refuse to stifle his flare.
Alterother, Mar 21 2012
  

       //The moon as a space craft is baked in fiction - space 1999//   

       This idea is more akin to using the moon like a well appointed metro shuttle bus on a regular route than the usage described in Space 1999. In that case a giant thermonuclear blast on the far side of the moon sent it hurtling through interstellar space toward nothing in particular...   

       //Overbaked in fiction//   

       Like what, the death star? Although they did drive it around, I don't believe that started out as a planet or moon; it was constructed. Do you know of another one described in fiction (or elsewhere) that describes the moon as a shuttle?
Grogster, Mar 21 2012
  

       Don't get me wrong, I wasn't trying to stifle [Grogster]'s flair _or_ his flare. Nor am I calling baked on the idea. I just think the prior art is interesting and relevant.   

       There's an episode of Invader Zim where they fly around the solar system on motorised planets (Mercury and Mars), but that's also not quite the same as this.
spidermother, Mar 21 2012
  

       Buzz Aldrin has done some work on Earth-Mars cycler orbits and thinks that's the best way to establish travel. It seems like it would take a lot of power to accelerate the moon to escape velocity though.
DIYMatt, Mar 21 2012
  

       // overbaked in fiction //   

       There are innumerable scifi short stories and TV episodes, many following or expanding upon common themes; using moons or planets (or pieces of them) as vehicles or mobile space colonies is one of thos recurring themes. I'm not sure I've ever seen your specific idea amongst them, and I'm not trying to detract from it. If not for the Earth's ecology depending so heavily upon the presence of the Moon, I'd bun it.   

       Truthfully, my anno was more in response to [spidermom]'s.
Alterother, Mar 21 2012
  

       Wait - doesn't docking with a cycler mean matching its position and velocity - which means you are at that precise moment in a Mars-bound trajectory, and have spent the exact same amount of energy transferring from Earth as you would if the cycler itself was not there?
BunsenHoneydew, Apr 07 2012
  
      
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