On my mission to the moon’s South Pole, my top priority would be analyzing the water deposits of the permanently shadowed craters. Water is essential for drinking, breathing, fuel, cooling machinery, and growing plants, making it the most important commodity on our moon. My crew of six would be 2 geologists to investigate lunar water ice, a chemist to analyze water composition, a biologist to set up Ecospheres, as well as a pilot with space-flight experience. I believe the most important characteristics of the astronauts would be their ability to cooperate, to be innovative thinkers, to respect each other, and work well under pressure.
The first machine I would leave on the moon is my Ecosphere, an AI-operated greenhouse system, which we would use to grow plants, such as potatoes, cotton, and soybeans, for future visitors. The Ecosphere uses thermographic cameras to analyze the temperature of the surroundings, and adjusts accordingly. I would also leave our rover, Innovation. It would be able to continue exploring the craters for water deposits, with a frame built to scale the nearly vertical sides. It would also have a camera, digging tools, analytical tools, a spectrometer, and a magnesium drill to investigate its findings.