“3,2, 1, …Liftoff!” I jerk backwards as 10 million pounds of thrust launch me skyward. An adventure of a lifetime is about to begin.
Dream Big Moon Pod touches down on the lunar south pole at the edge of Shackleton Crater. My crewmates, Silvanus (a chemist) and Neptune (a hydrologist), and I have traveled 250,000 miles to install and program EER, the Endothermic Electrolysis Reactor, which will provide a source of fuel and oxygen for future lunar pioneers. Through the process of electrolysis, EER collects, filters, and splits water molecules using a tubal filtration system ten feet below the lunar surface. By separating the hydrogen and oxygen, EER will provide fresh supplies of breathable oxygen for future landings. Hydrogen will be converted to fuel so that rockets will have a readily accessible source of refueling. Then it will store the finished products in pressurized tanks.
My name is Luna. I am the mission commander, the pilot, and an astronautical engineer. I designed EER and my role is to direct the effort and test the reactor. Silvanus is a chemist who specializes in splitting molecules. Neptune’s expertise is in isotope and groundwater hydrology. Using our comprehensive and diverse skill set, we will provide a practical tool that will change lunar exploration forever.
We unload EER from the moon pod, and drive to the center of the crater. We lodge it into the surface and begin testing. Suddenly, there is an implosion in the conversion-to-fuel compartment. The base of the compartment is fractured. No longer capable of conversion, I redesign the pressurized fuel tank into a converting structure. I then use an extra oxygen tank to substitute as a fuel tank. Finding no other structural flaws, I program the EER to be operational for five years.
“3,2, 1…Liftoff Moon Pod!”