Cover Image


The background starfield is a flipped, clipped and slightly altered version of a photo of Open star clusters M35 and NGC 2158. This picture may be seen in its entirety at
From the NASA site: Credit & CopyrightCanada-France-Hawaii TelescopeJ.-C. Cuillandre (CFHT), Coelum

And with gratitude for permission to use the image from: 
Dr. Jean-Charles Cuillandre                     Tel:    (808) 885-3128
Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Corporation      Fax:    (808) 885-7288
65-1238 Mamalahoa Hwy.                          E-mail:
Kamuela, Hawaii 96743 USA             HTML:

Although its official name is Armstrong base, most people just say “Moonbase”. Its crater is shown above a few years after the story in Moonfall takes place. Looking south, the structure in foreground is the roof replacement over the garage. Two suited astronauts stand atop the newly installed blast door. We can barely see a new access ramp below which extends over the scar and crater from the iceball impact. The new Operations tower is shown roughly crater center. A bus can be seen moving towards the Powerplant (green). Beyond the powerplant the big fabrication buildings are where larger structures are assembled. Some lattice towers and carts can be seen on the ground beyond the big fab buildings.

Beyond the big fab structures the podrail system dominates the southern end of the crater. The two ramps, landing and launching are each a kilometer long and are angled upward at 20 degrees. The passenger terminal is underground, below the pod docking facilities in between the ramps. A racetrack podrail surrounds the pod docks and just beyond that is the Pod maintenance and storage facility. On its right is the switch track where pods are reversed so they can launch with passengers facing forward. (It helps to have the thruster pointing backward too.) A pod proceeding to launch is seen just before mounting the West ramp for launch.

A new underground pressurized tuberail system connects the underground pax terminal to the Ops workspace, then continues underground into the habitat, where reception has been moved down a level from its previous position adjacent to the garage.

At the left and more open western edge of the crater lie four blast pits for non-rail landings and launchings. Each pit is roughly one kilometer in diameter and is surrounded by a blast fence to deflect dust kicked up in landings/launchings. Between each pair of pods is a loading/unloading crane which can also serve as a gantry if required. On pad A, the northernmost, sit three light mining craft, and on pad C is a heavier duty freighter.

The odd sprays of color on the usually monochrome lunar surface have some functionality. Red indicates an airlock, Green is required for DEVAS fixed powerplants. The mixed yellows are remnants of an early attempt to define roadways with a colored dust, most of which was redistributed or covered in the iceball incident. The blast pits are relatively free of dust and have been impregnated with a sprayable coloring agent to make them more visible in the event a manual landing is required.

Finding a way to spray a binding agent across a cold airless gap also led to mooncrete, the product used to reconstitute excavated aggregate into construction blocks at the Block Plant. That facility is out of view to the right, roughly a kilometer away from the conveyor vent at the top of the central habitat dropshaft. Out of view to the left is the recently installed reservoir cap, where ice is deposited.


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