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The Year 2 handbook

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Everything you've ever wanted to know about Moonbase Alpha...

What's the technical breakdown of Moonbase Alpha?

Moonbase Alpha is the finest collection and integration of man's greatest scientific achievements to date. Encapsulated here are all the latest advancements in the fields of Engineering, Computer technology, Medical Engineering, Architecture, Astronomy, Mass Transportation, Physics, and art.

Indeed, it is ironic that such a fine example of human endeavour should find itself adrift in the void of space, perhaps to supply some alien race with a perfect specimen of mankind at his best.

Moonbase Alpha is located in a well protected crater called "Plato", clearly visible just above the Sea of Showers. It is about 100 kilometres in diameter. The complex itself is a marvel of modern engineering. Constructed out of a material of melted rock and metal, it was originally meant to support 311 scientists and engineers above ground. The base is 4 kilometres in diameter and extends 1 kilometre farther in areas below the lunar surface, The major research sections break down as follows:


Responsible for air circulation and re-circulation, also responsible for detecting radiation or other harmful elements in the space in which the moon travels. The Environmental Section is constantly monitoring space for alien viruses by means of the thousands of bristling antennae and sensory devices located on the outside of the structure. These devices were originally meant as an early warning system for Earth, searching the heavens for any signs of extraterrestrial civilisations.


Responsible for the production and preservation of many plant forms which generate life giving oxygen (the humans on the base themselves supply the carbon dioxide needed by the plants). Also responsible for the recycling of food and other spent materials. Much of the food consumed on Alpha is of a healthy synthetic origin. The food is flavoured and then nutrients are added to keep the Alphans in top physical condition, as a simple case of the measles could mean the extinction of life in a sealed environment.


Responsible for the production, recycling, and repair of all hardware used. Through the engineering genius of Moonbase technicians, they were able to successfully convert a transitory base on the Moon, and turn it into a permanent world. This department is certainly the most active one on Alpha since they must clear the dirty work of repairing spacecraft, repairing computer equipment, manufacturing raw materials in makeshift atomic furnaces, keep careful record of all security equipment in operation, plus feeding and nursing the three nuclear fusion reactors which keep the lights on (among other things).


Responsible for special scientific and philosophical research into problems facing Moonbase and its inhabitants. This section, operating closely with the Engineering and Technics section, consists of physicist-philosophers who understand the structure of the universe better than any other scientist. This section will perform the experiments needed to find a planet suitable for the Alphans.


Responsible for psychological and physiological maintenance of the personnel of Moonbase Alpha. Medical facilities of every kind have been employed by the manufacturers of Moonbase to insure a cure for every conceivable medical emergency. This section is led by Dr. Helena Russell and Dr. Bob Mathias.


Responsible for monitoring areas which have restricted access to members of the base, as well as notifying command personnel of any possible threat to the well-being of the Base either from within the Moon complex or from out in the space through which the Moon will Travel. Tony Verdeschi is First Officer in charge of defence and security in Command Centre.


All of the above mentioned operating stations are controlled at Command Centre, an influx of receiving stations where all Moonbase sections are monitored by their respective service officer. It is here under tight security where all command decisions originate. The commander's console is here as well as all master computer links, which govern the computerised base.

Why did Command Centre move underground?

All facilities for Main Mission were moved deep underground for obvious reasons. First, in the event of an attack, all command personnel and equipment will be well protected. This also serves to keep Main Mission personnel isolated in times of extreme tension so that emotional stability can be boosted. New receiving stations were added to Main Mission, new consoles were added for new personnel with more efficient means to process information.

What powers the Eagle fleet?

The Eagles are powered by a small quantity of highly combustable fuel mixed with a Radioactive core. The result is an enormous amount of thrust with little weight. This allows an Eagle to fly anywhere, even on a planet with strong gravity and atmosphere. These rockets are alternated with pure hydrogen compressed to within an inch of its life, giving a tremendous thrust without the danger of harming any life form on a planet's surface.

What do the coloured marks on the uniforms mean?

The markings and patches on the uniforms serve a variety of functions. They identify Rank and department, some have a small magnetic transmitter to allow certain individuals access to areas where others are forbidden to go. There are security clearance coded badges which are distributed at various times on a weekly basis whenever there is a major change in service command. Example: LSRO stands for Lunar Space Research Organisation.

How did the moon get out of our solar system?

The Moon was catapulted into a region of space that has never been studied before. All the planets lie in a straight plain, their orbits extend out from the Sun in concentric circles like rings drawn on a dinner plate. Until the time of the lunar accident, no one had ever sent a probe to the regions above or below the even plain in which all the planets lie. The Moon, driven by nuclear holocaust, is forced up and out of the plain of the planets and after travelling for almost a year becomes caught in a powerful warp in space of unknown origin.

What powers Moonbase Alpha?

There are three nuclear fusion reactors on Moonbase Alpha which supply enough power to run a major city. Fusion is a process by which elementary particles such as protons, neutrons, etc. are fused together under indescribable forces, resulting in an energy release similar to that of the Sun.

What's the average person like on Moonbase Alpha?

In order to have been assigned a position on Moonbase Alpha to begin with, the individual had to have been of exceptional mental and physical status. The average person on Moonbase Alpha holds a PhD or an equivalent scholastic degree in some field of research. Some individuals hold more than one doctorate in related subjects. An applicant for a position on Alpha could come from any nationality and must be recommended by four instructors. Once picked by a review board, the appointee undergoes two years of lunar status preparation training, and then six months training in his or her individual field.

How do they regenerate and reconstruct Eagles?

The Eagle is a completely modular vehicle. There is a vast underground repair and service complex strictly designed for the regeneration of space equipment. If a spacecraft should sustain some damage, it is immediately taken to the engineering repair and modification centre. Technicians will then call from a computer file all parts necessary for a complete repair, and proceed to dismantle the craft. Alpha is capable of building completely new spacecraft with the aid of an atomic furnace and raw materials for metal which are taken from the crater left by the tragic nuclear explosion on September 13, 1999

Why was Moonbase Alpha placed on the near side of the Moon?

The base was situated on the near side of the Moon because of the ease of transportation and communication. (if the base were placed on the far side of the Moon there could be no communication with Earth because the Earth would have been behind the Moon in radio silence) To probe deep space, the antenna and probe equipment were located on the far side of the Moon away from Earth radio noise. The information was transmitted around to Alpha and then radioed back to Earth.

What does COM-LOC mean and what exactly does it do?

COM-LOC stands for portable Communications Locking device. It is a handheld multifunctional device used by every member of the base. It has a wide range of 30 functions, but only 4 can be used at any one time, unless it is plugged into a desktop receiver which puts the COM-LOC in direct contact with the main computer. Otherwise the COM-LOC is in radio contact with the main computer and must divide up its functions into 4 parts. Apart from a logarithmic calculator, the COM-LOC opens most air pressure sealed bulkhead doors unless there is a prevailing security code. There is a two way audio-visual Communications network in each device, although depending on the status of the individual, personal COM-LOCs have limitations. For instance, a worker in the nuclear plant would not be given free access to Command Centre with his COM-LOC unless it was previously obtained by the proper higher ranking officer. A COM-LOC can process information, transmit information, and monitor controlled operations. On a limited scale, they are similar to the large data processing computers. Anyone on Alpha can be located instantly through a paging system in the main computer banks. The COM-LOC is also a Geiger counter, a thermometer, an air I pressure gauge, a clock, and an infrared TV camera.

(reprinted from the Space:1999 year II promotional handbook, scanned from the Space 1999 1980 convention program by Paulo Jorge Morgado)