The Catacombs CyberMuseum
Moonbase Alpha Timeline by Shane Johnson

Shane is the author of 'Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise,' 'The Worlds of the Federation,' 'The Star Wars Technical Journal,' and original novels including The Last Guardian and Ice. He was a design consultant on the HBO mini-series From The Earth To The Moon.

This timeline was written for a Space:1999 book that would have included technical material (blueprints), character biographies, timelines, and episode guides.

TIMELINE: 1969-1999

The Origin of Moonbase Alpha

July 20, 1969 Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to set foot on the moon
Mar 15, 1975 The Metrostar Project, searching for a means by which gravity waves can be generated, begins its first controlled experiments
Nov 2, 1978 Repeated budget cuts force NASA to delay its space shuttle and space station programs indefinitely
Jan 28, 1981 As commander of a joint US/Soviet mission, Anton Borkoff becomes the first man to walk on the planet Mars
Aug 22, 1981 Through a merging of NASA with the Soviet and European space agencies, the World Space Commission (WSC) is formed. All future manned spaceflight is to be approved, managed, and funded through the combined resources of all spacefaring nations. Decisions concerning all lunar activities are to be handled under the authority of a sub-agency, the International Lunar Commission (ILC).
Feb 23, 1982 Nuclear power becomes the standard worldwide, replacing non-replenishable coal as the primary fuel source
Mar 7, 1982 The first operable artificial gravity system becomes a reality
July 2, 1982 Under the guidance of the newly-formed International Lunar Finance Committee (ILFC), a sub-branch of the WSC, Spacedock 'Centuri' begins construction in high Earth orbit
Sept 18, 1982 Space shuttle 'Falcon,' designed to service Centuri, is rolled out at the Vostaach Space Center
July 19, 1983 Centuri is completed
Sept 25, 1983 ILFC authorizes the construction of 'Moonbase Alpha' as part of a lunar nuclear waste storage facility
May 3, 1984 Construction of Moonbase Alpha begins on the floor of crater Plato (N. Latitude 52 degrees, W. Longitude 10 degrees) in the lunar Alps
Nov 9, 1984 Ernst Queller develops the fast-neutron drive
Oct 7, 1986 The Uranus Probe, commanded by Jack Tanner and Cabot Rowland, is launched from Centuri
May 21, 1987 World conflicts escalate. Peace talks at Geneva, moving slowly, accomplish little.
June 9, 1987 Armed forces are mobilized worldwide. Construction on Moonbase Alpha is halted as resources are directed toward the impending military conflict.
June 30, 1987 Western Switzerland is destroyed by a nuclear device of unknown origin. The blast is centered near the site of the peace talks, and all participating diplomatic negotiators are lost. John Koenig's wife, Jean, a UN translator, is killed.

Nuclear retaliatory strikes begin. A limited global exchange takes place before a North Korean terrorist group claims responsibility for the initial detonation at Geneva. Despite the claim, the war continues to escalate.
July 2, 1987 An emergency peace conference is called aboard Air Force One. For the first time, the world realizes the power of their nuclear arsenals. A cease-fire goes into effect at 2130 hours, GMT.
July 28, 1987 Under the terms of the peace agreement, all nuclear weapons are broken down. Their fissionable materials are gathered for storage at an Antarctic facility used for the burial of nuclear power plant waste.
Oct 4, 1987 Construction resumes on Moonbase Alpha
Dec 10, 1987 The Uranus Probe vanishes in a proton storm only five days from reaching orbit
Jan 27, 1988 The WSC awards contracts to six primary contractors for the construction of the proposed Eagle Transporter. They are:
Command Module -- Grumman Corporation
Mission Modules -- McDonnell Douglas Astronautics
Lift Engines, RCS and Main Propulsion -- Aerodyne/Westinghouse
Electronics and Computer Systems -- Maurasan Aerospace
Gravity Compensation/Structural Mainframe -- Boeing Company
Life Support System -- Hamilton Standard/United Aircraft
Apr 9, 1988 Voyager One with its Queller Drive propulsion system is launched. Several lunar orbital technicians die when the drive proves faulty.
Mar 25, 1989 Robert Addison lands on Venus. Exploration is halted prematurely due to extreme surface conditions even more harsh than those expected.
May 8, 1992 Initial construction on Moonbase Alpha is completed. Launch Pad 1 and the Space Exploration Division go into full operation. The above-ground structures support a crew of 100 while underground work continues.
May 17, 1992 On the far side of the moon, Nuclear Waste Disposal Area One is established as a part of the 'final' answer to Earth's problem of radioactive waste disposition
June 2, 1992 The Eagle Transporter replaces the Falcon shuttle
July 11, 1992 The transport of nuclear waste from the holding site in Antarctica begins as Eagle spacecraft carry specially-designed containers to the disposal site on the moon
Nov 14, 1992 The WSC approves the construction of an Eagle production facility to be located beneath Moonbase Alpha
Feb 23, 1993 Eagle pilot John Koenig is assigned to Moonbase Alpha as head of Reconnaissance
Apr 16, 1994 Commander Gorski takes over command of Alpha
May 15, 1994 Disposal Area One is shut down as the larger Area Two begins operation
June 23, 1994 Professor Victor Bergman discovers the planet Ultra
July 10, 1995 Astro 7, under the command of Lee Russell, husband of Helena Russell, is launched toward Jupiter
Dec 21, 1995 Io, one of Jupiter's moons, explodes due to geophysical forces. The event is captured by Astro 7's long-range telescope.
Jan 15, 1996 Astro 7 lost in Jupiter orbit
Mar 30, 1996 Captain Joseph Michael, commanding a mothership and four Swift support craft, leads a mission to investigate a nearby star system
May 22, 1996 Following the failure of the previous three star missions, Gerald Trapnell of the ILFC attempts to stop the launch of the Ultra Probe mission. He is overruled.
June 6, 1996 The Ultra Probe mission, with Captain Anthony Cellini in command, is launched
Sept 3, 1996 Moonbase Alpha's Eagle production facility begins construction on a fleet to be dedicated to the base's use. Alpha becomes fully operational.
Dec 18, 1996 Planet Ultra is reached. Contact is lost with the probe ship.
July 15, 1997 Alpha's lunar observatory locates the Ultra Probe command module on Earth return trajectory
July 27, 1997 The Ultra Probe command module is retrieved from space. The mission's sole survivor is found aboard.
July 29, 1997 Captain Cellini is placed under mental care because he claims a monster killed his crew, despite the fact that no evidence of extraterrestrial life has ever been found. The probe ship's flight recorder does not support his story.
Aug 27, 1997 The Mark IX Hawk 'attack Swift' is tested in a mock battle over the lunar surface
Sept 16, 1997 The failure of the Ultra Probe mission places great pressure upon the WSC. Used as scapegoats by the ILFC, Tony Cellini, John Koenig, and Victor Bergman are grounded and re-assigned to posts on Earth.
Dec 1, 1998 Planet 'Meta' is discovered passing the solar system far beneath the plane of the ecliptic. A manned mission is planned to find out why a planet so far from the warmth of a star is not frozen. The unmanned photo-probe Spacefarer Nine is redirected toward the planet.
Jan 3, 1999 Helena Russell becomes Chief Medical Officer of Moonbase Alpha
Apr 30, 1999 Victor Bergman returns to Alpha to oversee the astronomical study of Meta
July 14, 1999 The first neutrino communications experiments begin at M.I.T.
July 19, 1999 Tony Cellini returns to Moonbase Alpha as a recon pilot
Aug 7, 1999 The first Meta Probe astronaut dies on the moon of a mysterious illness
Sept 9, 1999 The Meta Probe crew death toll reaches nine. John Koenig, ordered to get the Meta Probe mission under way, returns to Alpha as its ninth and final commander.
Sept 12, 1999 Victor Bergman discovers that the huge amount of nuclear material stored at Nuclear Disposal Areas One and Two is creating fields of immeasurably intense magnetic radiation, and that repeated exposure to these fields is what killed the Meta Probe astronauts.

Area One erupts into a subsurface firestorm and is destroyed as it burns itself out. ILFC Commissioner Gerald Simmonds is brought to Alpha by Koenig in order that he may see firsthand the seriousness of their situation. Bergman states that Area Two will also flare up, far more intensely, unless the huge quantity of nuclear waste there is immediately dispersed over a wider area.
Sept 13, 1999
Koenig orders every available Eagle to attempt to scatter the nuclear material stored at Area Two. In mid-operation, the site goes critical.
1942 Hours
(Lunar Time)
A massive series of nuclear detonations at Area Two reduces tens of thousands of square kilometers of the lunar farside to fusion plasma. Like an immense nuclear engine, the reactive force of the twelve-minute blast hurls the moon out of Earth orbit on a trajectory 52 degrees southward relative to the plane of the ecliptic. Captain Alan Carter, monitoring the attempted dispersal operation from high above the moon, is the only surviving eyewitness to the nuclear event. He manages to land safely at Moonbase Alpha.

Those on Alpha suffer the severe G forces created by the runaway moon. Earth sustains worldwide quakes and tidal surges. The Meta Probe launch platform is destroyed by the stresses created as the gravitational fields of Earth and its departing moon conflict.

Spacedock Centuri is thrown from orbit. The fate of the 223 persons aboard is unknown.

Due to Alpha's high departure velocity, devastated Eagle fleet, and unknown course, Operation:Exodus cannot be implemented. Leaving Alpha for Earth is impossible.

All contact with Earth is lost. Moonbase Alpha is isolated and alone.
Sept 14, 1999-
May 2000
The severity of Earth's geophysical response to the moon's departure increases dramatically. The planet slips 5.7 degrees on its axis, creating devastating changes in the Earth's climate. On the European and Asian continents a new Ice Age begins, while North America, South America, and Africa are covered largely by lifeless desert. The planet's ozone layer disintegrates entirely except for a narrow and irregular band that remains near the equator. Vast areas of radioactive ash, created by intense and repeated volcanic upheavals, cover most of the land area of the planet. Complex life perishes, save that in Santa Maria, a seven thousand square mile region near what was once the California/Baja California border.


(Dates shown are days since departing Earth orbit)

1 Damaged sections of Alpha are sealed off and repairs begin
3 Signals from the planet Meta increase in strength as the moon moves closer
6 The base's spacecraft manufacturing facility becomes operable once again. The construction of new Eagles resumes.
29 Victor Bergman observes changes in the coloration of Meta. Through an unknown and never before observed process, the planet goes from blue to reddish in a matter of hours.
43-45 Alpha reaches the planet Meta, renamed 'Terra Nova' (New Earth) by Victor Bergman. A being who appears to be Helena Russell's husband Lee attempts to warn the Alphans away from the seemingly-inviting world.
73 It is discovered that the immense fusion reaction that took place on the far side of the moon has created a huge, new 'mare' where Nuclear Disposal Area Two once was. Victor Bergman names it 'the Sea of Folly.'
83 Nuclear technician Jack Crawford dies. No definitive cause can be found. He leaves a wife who is two months pregnant.
117-121 Alpha is drawn into a black sun and re-emerges at a point more than a million light years distant
133 A Tritonian space probe draws information from Alpha's main computer
139 Koenig orders Alpha's Eagle production stepped up with a target fleet of thirty-five, the minimum necessary for the most rapid possible execution of Operation:Exodus
146-151 A Caldorian sleeper ship crash lands on the moon while en route to Earth. As the repaired craft once again gets underway, Commissioner Simmonds forces his way aboard the vessel at gunpoint, only to die as a result of a misprogrammed hibernation unit.
163-164 A rift in the fabric of the universe throws the Alphans five years into the future and into another plane of existence, where they encounter their parallel selves. Following the encounter, as space-time corrects itself, the moon returns to its proper time and position.
176-178 Commander Koenig's consciousness is held captive by Raan of the planet Zenno
210 Doctor Helena Russell begins making weekly status report entries into Alpha's log recorder, preserving a spoken record of the events and lifeforms encountered by the Alphans
243-246 The Guardian of the planet Piri lures the Alphans toward a living death
261-263 Technician Anton Zoref is possessed by an energy-consuming lifeform
298 Jackie Crawford is born, the first birth to take place on Alpha. The infant mysteriously attains the physical form of a five-year-old in less than an hour.
311-315 Natives of the planet Ariel send a fleet of probes to Alpha. The probes temporarily create Earthlike conditions on the lunar surface.
339 Alpha encounters the malfunctioning Voyager One
377 The Alphans discover that the moon is on a collision course with the planet Atheria
412-414 On planet Ultima Thule, Alpha finds the survivors of the Uranus Probe
491-495 The mist of a strange planet transforms the Alphans into savages
534-538 Balor, freed from his asteroid prison, attempts to rule Alpha
567 A fleet of Mark IX Hawk spacecraft appears to devastate Alpha
759 Alpha becomes a pawn in a war between two worlds
771 Gwent, in search of a new companion, lands on the moon
780 Technician Dan Mateo conducts experiments in communication with plants, with lethal consequences
793 Alpha collides with an immense, swirling energy field that has consciousness and functions as a space 'brain'
832-836 The Alphans attempt to help the Darians
877-889 In a drifting spaceship graveyard, Tony Cellini once again battles the creature that killed the Ultra Probe's crew
901 An alien seed pod impacts the moon within the crater Schemeil
929 Work begins on Alpha's laser cannon defense system
935 An Alphan landing party battles the android population of the planet Pelorus
1086-1094 Alpha enters the closed system 'universe' of the Omphalos
1271 On the planet Megaron, the Alphans are drawn into a planetary civil war
1317 The first of five defensive laser cannons comes online. The base's Weapons and Defense section is created.
1392-1395 Alpha is stopped in space near the planet Arkadia. The planet, sterilized by an ancient nuclear war, is ready for rebirth. As Alpha departs, Technicians Anna Ferro and Luke Davis remain behind.
1408 While leaving the Arkadian star system, a recon Eagle carrying Victor Bergman, David Kano, two sensor technicians and pilot Paul Morrow is sent into the system's asteroid belt to investigate the source of a mysterious radio signal. Just as Alpha reaches the limit of the ship's range, the Eagle takes a meteor hit and is crippled. Too far away to try a rescue, Alpha sadly travels on. The fate of the men remains unknown.
1412 The dangers driven home by the loss of Bergman and the others prompt Koenig to close down Main Mission and transfer control to the base's underground Command Center.
1427 By popular request, Koenig and the department heads approve a new official uniform for Alpha personnel
1441 New nomenclature is created for Alpha signage and equipment
1446 Chief of Security Tony Verdeschi transfers to Operations, becoming the new Mission Controller
1469 For the second time, Alpha passes through a space warp. After re-emerging six light years from its previous position, computer analysis of distant stellar radiation levels is compared with recorded data. This reveals that the rift has also thrown the moon three years backward in time, to a point less than one year after they had left Earth. In an attempt to maintain Earth time as closely as possible, Koenig orders all Alpha event recorders to be reset to 338 days since leaving Earth orbit, reflecting true universal time.
NOTE: All dates recorded after this point reflect Alpha's adjusted time frame.
342-347 Maya joins the Alphans after her home world of Psychon is destroyed
403-408 Cantor and Zova use the energy of Alpha's life-support system to return themselves to their home world
515 Androids of the planet Vega use Tony Verdeschi and Helena Russell as models for the expression of violent emotion
520 Alpha's laser cannon defense system is completed
537-541 An attempt is made at teleportation between Alpha and Texas City, Earth. Koenig, Russell, and Carter, following a malfunction, find themselves in Scotland circa 1339 A.D.
565-567 An Alphan landing party is attacked by a race of rock creatures
587-590 The space trader Taybor visits Alpha in an attempt to acquire Maya for his collection
640-641 Two inhabitants of the planet Archanon are unearthed in the tunnels beneath Alpha
892-894 Koenig and Maya face the rulers of the planet Luton
1095-1097 A creature claiming to be deity tries to use the Alphans for experiments in his new 'Eden'
1150-1151 Brian the Brain kidnaps Helena and John
1196-1197 Engineer Patrick Osgood has visions of a fiery death for Alpha
1288-1290 Alpha, bracing against a series of shock wave concussions, encounters the world of the chrysalis sleepers
1503-1505 Creatures from the Beta Cloud send an android to steal Alpha's life-support core
1608 A mirror-image Koenig attempts to beam all of Alpha's power, via microwave transmission, to the hibernating world of Kalthon
1702 Shermeen Williams is lured into helping Vindrus bring his people out of their anti-matter existence
1807 A feverish and mentally-affected Maya attempts to return to Psychon while Koenig and Verdeschi, in an Eagle, try to follow the moon through a space warp
1912-1918 The Bringers of Wonder, needing raw energy to survive, attempt to detonate Alpha's remaining nuclear waste domes
1991 A planetary cluster designated 'Taura' by the Alphans is sighted ahead, approximately one month's travel in the distance
2009-2010 Maya battles Dorzak, another survivor of Psychon
2012-2017 Sandorson tries to stop Koenig's attempt to save Alpha from colliding with Taura
2306-2307 Koenig fights for his life in a penal colony on a moon of the planet Ellna
2308 Alpha is affected by the Lambda Factor
2310-2315 Koenig tries to communicate with a lifeform that is killing the Alphans as they investigate a second planet in the Ellna system
2409-2411 The Dorcons attempt to kidnap Maya. Moonbase Alpha suffers great damage as a result of their attack.
2412 The Alphans begin the process of rebuilding the base and its damaged structures and systems
2437 In Command Center, it is found that crucial control circuitry is suffering from molecular corrosion caused by exposure to the Dorcons' meson beams. The room is slowly being rendered inoperable. Koenig reopens Main Mission, and all primary control functions return to the upper level facility.
2459 John Koenig and Helena Russell are married in a ceremony held in Alpha's chapel. Alan Carter, empowered by Koenig, conducts the service.
2521 Once again, a black sun appears in the lunar sky. Alpha's course alters toward it and the moon is drawn into the stellar vortex.
2523-2524 Alpha emerges unharmed from the black sun. Main Computer analyzes a star system lying just ahead and states that the moon, once again, is approaching the planet Arkadia.

Koenig tries radio contact, and is stunned when his call to Luke Ferro and Anna Davis is answered by a joyous Victor Bergman. He, Morrow, Kano, and the rest of the lost Eagle crew, having limped back to the planet in their damaged craft, are living safely on the surface along with Ferro and Davis.
2543-2565 As if guided, the moon alters course and settles into a stable orbit around the planet. Koenig and Carter, in Eagle One, find their former fellow Alphans alive and well on Arkadia, and back on Alpha there is a joyous reunion. Bergman, Morrow, and the others embrace their friends and all exchange tales of the past six years.

Computer analysis reveals that the farming community established by Bergman and the others will support the population of Alpha, and much of the planet has become fertile again. A virtual duplicate of the pre-civilized Earth, Arkadia has become the world Alpha has been searching for throughout its long journey.

At long last, 'Operation:Exodus' takes place. Moonbase Alpha is stripped for all possible construction materials. Using all Eagles, the Alphans colonize Arkadia, bringing their journey full circle. The city of New Alpha is founded on the shore of a large inland sea.
2566 The journey of Moonbase Alpha ends
2578 Tony Verdeschi and Maya are married in an outdoor ceremony conducted by John Koenig. Victor Bergman, Maya's adopted 'uncle,' gives the bride away.
2604 Paul Morrow and Sandra Benes are married as New Alpha's first chapel building, a structure of stone and native wood, is dedicated. Victor Bergman, having chosen to serve as New Alpha's first clergyman, conducts the wedding service.
Mar 10, 2010
0842 Hours
Victor Andrew Koenig, 7 lbs. 12 ozs., is born to parents John and Helena Koenig. His is the first birth on Arkadia in untold centuries.