Saturday, 26 January 2013

Day Twenty-Six: Lay of the Land

This is our last day of posts for the “note-taking” stage of development, so I thought I would dedicate it to providing a little more detail on the layout and placement of the novel’s lunar locations. Here’s the whole chart again, this time with my markings:

Moon -Edited

It’s a little small. It illustrates nicely, though, that the bulk of the novel’s action will take place in that upper corner of the Northern Hemisphere, with the exception of the Naval Observatory Dow lands at on the far side. I also have the rough location of the derelict Armstrong Station marked on the Southern Pole because it’s kind of my one, major fictional historic site. Unfortunately, Shackleton Crater’s location isn’t marked on this chart, so the whole thing is very nonspecific and not worth sharing the photo of.

Dark Side Observatory

That circle with a dot in it in the upper left-hand quarter marks the Mare Moscoviense, the large crater where I slotted Deep-Eye A. The Deep-Eye sites (the five dots in the photo) are all part of a large deep space observatory system maintained and staffed by the United States Navy. They represent the only standing military presence on the lunar surface, and are permitted only because the US government provided funding for the project and agreed to keep the sites almost entirely unarmed. A civilian scientist presence operates the telescope arrays, but the fact that Deep-Eye represents a secure and almost exclusively military installation is the reason why the UN agreed to put Dow down there. Deep-Eye A is used as the chosen landing site because it’s the closest to any of the supply depots that the Navy is going to have to drive Dow to.

McMurdo & Station

The supply depot that Dow is sent off to before moving on to McMurdo is the closest to Deep-Eye A, located in the LeMonnier Crater at the very edge of the Mare Serenitatis. The site is unmanned, making it an easy place to slip a man into, and is only about seventy-five miles of easy traveling from McMurdo-Lunar’s location at the Dawes Crater. There are a whole series of supply depots ringing McMurdo across the Serenitatis  and the Mare Tranquillitatis, as represented by the dots in the next photo, but they aren’t really featured at all.

Area of Action

Also important is Cole’s final survey range, which is a block of lunar surface about one hundred miles square. It sits neatly on the Equator, is about three-hundred miles from McMurdo, and prominently features the Ranger 6 impact site from 1964. Try to ignore that red X in the center of it. That probably doesn’t mean anything.

McMurdo & Survey Field

Pretty nice, right?

 

-Sean

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