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The Moon: Reality Check


By Hugh & Colleen Gantzer

We glow with pride when we realise that our country will soon join the exclusive club of nations who have put a lander on the Moon.  But then a sobering thought occurred.

Headlines do not, necessarily, result in benefits to the common man. We commissioned a foreign foundry to build the world’s largest bronze statue; we have constructed the world’s largest Cricket Stadium. We have introduced a bullet train between two favoured cities. These are great achievements in themselves but have they resulted in slowing down the number of Indians who want to emigrate to another country in quest of a better life? We have constructed a new Parliament Building, but has that resulted in our Parliamentarians producing better laws for the people of India?  We have bought 2 aircraft to replicate the USA’s Air Force 1.  But has that resulted in placing us in a position of authority equal to USA, Russia, China and even the UK?

Or, are we asking the wrong question? We do not have to reinvent the wheel. If we take the best from the rest of the world we could earn a place at the High Table. That seems to be happening. A very important case in point is the impact of the first human to step onto the moon.

On the night of July 21, 1969, we and our young son heard the voice of Neil Armstrong on the Radio say, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” That one sentence did not bring an instant shower of wealth but it did enhance the USA’S image. A good image increases the financial prospects of a country as indeed a bad image erodes it. The skies above us are swarming with national image-enhancing satellites launched by USA, Japan, India, China, Iran, Israel, France, UK & South Korea. Missions to the moon have been sent by a slightly more exclusive club of nations: Soviet Union, USA, Japan, The European Space Agency, China, India, Luxembourg, Israel, Italy, South Korea, The United Arab Emirates and Russia. Finally, the most elite group of nations are the ones who have placed a lander on the moon, opened the portal, flipped out a ramp and sent a Rover to trundle across the lunar surface, sampling the environment of our nearest neighbour. We hope to achieve this on the 23rd of August this year. Many fascinating secrets may tumble out.

NEW MATERIAL: For millions of years the Moon has been battered by meteorites as our solar system spun through the vastness of space. In the absence of an atmosphere, the materials of those meteorites could have remained in their original state. As the discovery of Radium changed the treatment of cancer, and lithium for electric vehicles, the minerals on the moon could create a surge of new technology.

NEW MANUFACTURING PROCESSES: The Moon provides a frigid sterile environment which can only be achieved on Earth at great cost. Manufacturing processes, particularly those involving the growth of crystal could become a continuous, cost-effective robotic process on the moon.

SECURITY: Since the Moon, like Antarctica, has no human population, it should be governed by a treaty similar to the Antarctic one. It should be declared a no conflict zone. The UNSC should set up all surveillance systems to keep track of likely conflicts and possible natural disasters on Earth.

EXTRA TERRESTIAL LIFE FORMS: Since our lunar probes have found water on the moon, there is another fantastic possibility. In underground lakes there could be living creatures. If these are discovered, it would be a game changer for the human race: we are not alone in the universe. But it could also be a global disaster. If these creatures, however small, came to Earth they could multiply and cause a raging pandemic.

Finally, there is a theory that the moon is an artificial satellite created by extra-terrestrials to keep a watchful eye on the Earth. They claimed that the Moon was hollow and America’s lead atomic scientist, J Robert Oppenheimer is rumoured to have deliberately crashed a probe into the Moon. If it was hollow it would ring like a bell. It rang and reverberated for a long time!

(Hugh & Colleen Gantzer hold the National Lifetime Achievement Award for Tourism among other National and International awards. Their credits include over 52 halfhour documentaries on national TV under their joint names, 26 published books in 6 genres, and over 1,500 first-person articles, about every Indian state, UT and 34 other countries. Hugh was a Commander in the Indian Navy and the Judge Advocate, Southern Naval Command. Colleen is the only travel writer who was a member of the Travel Agents Association of India.) (The opinions and thoughts expressed here reflect only the authors’ views!).