In An Eagle's Revenge, Talon finds herself on the moon for a few chapters, where, let's just say, there's some lunar drama. So what would it take for people to live on the moon? What issues did I have to keep in mind to keep it realistic? It may surprise you, that it is entirely possible, sci-fi book or not.
First, is the good question, who would the moon belong to? Politics have already kept certain countries like the US and Japan from building permanent bases on the moon in the dispute of ownership. How do you decide who get's it? Antarctica has been a great lesson for future lunar policies, but unlike Antarctica, the moon is actually a desirable place to live and make lots of money in the future. Why? It would be economically more efficient to build and launch ships from the moon.
The fact that the moon has a lower gravitational pull and no atmosphere would save massive amounts of energy by giving the ships a lower escape velocity. Not to mention solar energy could be harvested, along with regolith mining. So, in my book, the UN has enacted a Corporate Homestead Act wherein companies have the ability to buy and "possess" land. Let's just say, they did not foresee the hidden agenda of some of these companies from a sociocultural standpoint. You'll have to read the book to know what I'm talking about here :)
So where would the people on the moon live exactly? On the crust where they would be subjected to radiation and extreme temperatures and have no oxygen to breath? Nope :) If people were ever going to live on the moon, they would probably live in the lunar lava tubes. Earth has lava tubes as well, or ancient conduits where lava once flowed millions of years ago. Because of the lower gravity of the moon, the lava tubes are much larger. Check out this picture from Purdue that depicts just how large these lave tubes can get. Yes, that's Philadelphia in there!
If we had the technologies that are available in my book, lava tubes (and there are dozens of lava tubes big enough for human habitation) could be terraformed to have constant temperatures, an atmosphere, and light (albeit artificial). Pretty cool!
So, what would it be like physically to live on the moon? Your weight would be a sixth of your weight here on earth. I would weigh 22 pounds! You could jump six times higher, throw a ball six times further. An American football field would need to be 600 yards across. Basketball would be a much different sport. The ceilings in every building would need to be much higher. And you would need to go to the gym often for resistance training so your muscles would not become weakened.
When you look at videos of astronauts on the moon, they often bunny hop. With less weight and the same momentum, it would be difficult to get the traction needed to walk normally and you would have trouble taking corners without running into the wall in front of you. The lunar people in my book wear special shoes that are weighted and have sticky bottoms that take care of this challenge. But, let's just say it gets very fun and Spiderman-ish when Talon has to go on a chase after bad guys!
After writing about living the moon, dang, I want to be there! Maybe in my lifetime...