Afternoon Inquisition

AI: To The Moon! Maybe?

Today’s Afternoon Inquisition comes courtesy of last week’s Comment o’ the Week winner Zapski:

NASA has been talking off and on about establishing a permanent presence on the moon. Putting aside for the moment whether or not you actually want to go, what unique talents do you possess that make you a candidate for the base team?

The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear daily at 3pm ET.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor.

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  1. That’s no moon! It’s a space station!

    An ability to find a Star Wars quote for any conversation is about all I have. :o(

  2. Eddie is an alien rescued from the planet Psychon and had the ability to metamorphose. Eddie was able to change into any animal, including ugly space monsters, for about an hour. He used his ability to get the crew of Moonbase Alpha out of a variety of problematic situations.

  3. Does the ability to don a red shirt and to dramatically die just to show how bad the situation is count as a skill? I might just be the man for the job.

  4. I saw it once. At least, I think I did – a big bright round thing up in the sky. It was right over there….shit, where did it go? I’m sure I saw it right over there.

  5. I do really great snow angels so I guess I could transfer my skill set and do really great regolith angels for everyone to see and appreciate. But alas I could always just jump around and act all crazy like Neil did.

  6. I can cobble together useful things using available materials. Very handy when the nearest Ace Hardware is a couple hundred thousand miles away. Just be sure to send lots of duct tape and paperclips.

  7. I can see the moon from my house! That’s enough to qualify me.

    Also, I’m somewhat lazy, so I’d never complain about the low gravity and I’d actually like it.

  8. I can finally answer the question that has vexed mankind since we first discovered the moon: Is it easier to juggle five balls in low gravity?

  9. Sadly, it seems my moon base skills are just about like my post-apocalypse ones; I can be used as food.

    Because cannibalism isn’t necessarily the last resort.

  10. I’ve spent time playing Orbiter, often doing Earth-Moon runs. So I could be a shuttle pilot or something!

    I mean, assuming you don’t mind landing precisely on target but just a liiiiiiiiiiiiiitle bit two fast. I mean, what’s a few kilometres per second between friends?

  11. I have really bad luck at gambling so if the food supplies ran out and we had to draw straws to see gets eaten I’d lose. Well, almost certainly. Definitely more often that random chance would predict.

  12. I’m a trained Analytical Chemist, expert in chromatography, various atomic spectroscopic methods, UV-vis, IR, X-ray & Laser diffraction, electrochemical and “wet” chemical methods.

    Admittedly my NMR is not up to much, but I doubt it’d be worth setting up several tonnes of NHR equipment on the moon when samples could be sent home for that kind of analysis.

    So, if your planning to do any science on the moon base, I’d be the most important member of the team after the autopilot.

  13. @Zapski Thanks. Now I have coffee in my sinuses.

    My hearing is really acute. If something starts to go wrong, my ears will pick it up. “You hear that? No shut up. You hear that? The buzzing. Shut up. You hear that?”

  14. Qualifications…. Let’s see.

    I read a book by Heinlein once, I’m well-versed in Byzantine History, I used to do helicopter maintainance for the Army, and I’m willing to pee into a vacuum hose.

  15. I’m an inorganic/analytical chemist trained for use of various equipment including UV-Vis, IR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, fluoremetry, XRF, XRD, and various “wet” methods such as russellsugden. As an inorganic chemist, I’m also particularly familiar with crystal structures and and other related concepts including d-block and f-block chemistry that cover the transition and lanthanide/actinide metals.

  16. @Joshua:I mean, what’s a few kilometres per second between friends?

    The difference between a moon rock and “hard vacuum” space.

    OK, that pun was a stretch.

  17. Ok, Intelligent and willing to be alone for extended periods of time

    , but if I was really applying:
    1. Pro and Amateur astronomer
    2. Nuclear physics background
    3. Solar power background
    4. I can drive bulldozers and forklifts (seriously that would be needed)

  18. Having the same name as a famous relative of Ben Franklin, startup a myth that I am an immortal vampire, deciding how to spend my time: With Remorse, With Revenge, or With (damn senior moment) …

    And looking up at the Earth and saying: “I was there” and punching people.

  19. I invented and demonstrated an electrostatic separator that can separate ice particles from ground basalt (the major component of lunar regolith) at -100 C at a few kwhr/ton.

  20. Yesterday I lost my eyeglasses, so I went downtown and bought new ones. Today my car broke and called the mechanic; when I jumped into the passenger seat, there were my lost eyeglasses!


    Think about it.

  21. I just started following this blog, but this post sparked my imagination and inspired me to comment.

    1. I know how to cut shape and weld all kinds of metal, skills needed to build the base or at least expand it.
    2. I’m an amateur roboticist and electrician.
    3. I have excellent visual-spacial skills (I’m a sculptor).
    4. I have a level, goal oriented thought process, meaning that if life support fails, I’m not going to panic, I’m going to try and fix it.
    5. I know how to use computer controlled fabrication systems such as a laser cutter, and a CNC router.

    My application would go something like
    “Ah can make stuff”

  22. I’m a sweet mechanical engineer, and I can build awesome sand castles. Combining the two, I could build sweet sand castles out of moon dust and plastic, probably to the scale of a shelter.

    Also, I’m nasty at the Rock Band song “Bark at the Moon”

  23. I’ve long complained about the earth’s gravity being way too high. I would be perfectly acclimated for the moon. Also I’m a misanthropic loner, so being mostly alone on the moon for a 6 month stint would be perfect for me.

  24. @jeffreyellis: “Also I’m a misanthropic loner, so being mostly alone on the moon for a 6 month stint would be perfect for me.”

    I hear you. The problem would be having to come back after six months.

  25. I’ve got a great sense of humor, and I knit. I can keep everyone in the base team in socks. I spin, too, and I’d love to experiment with a spinning wheel in low gravity. It’d be research.

    Basically I’d be a good all-around useful person, and I’m good at grunt work.

  26. I’m a proficient reader. Whenever the crew who can actually do things get tired, I will read them a story. … Or have sex with them… I’m pretty proficient at that too.

  27. I have a Next Generation Command Red uniform, too. Hardly used.

    With the history of red in Star Trek, I never could figure out why they put the commanders in red… :-)

  28. I think i get to win this contest hands down seeing as i’m actually building something for my thesis project for said moon base.
    Hopefully that would allow them to over look the fact that without glasses or contacts i’m legally blind. That would be ok though because equipment pretty much just runs it self these days.

  29. I can utilize sunlight to convert water and carbon dioxide into carbohydrates, releasing oxygen as a byproduct.

    I am a Hedge

  30. I can paint and possess a strong desire to knock the admittedly incredibly awesome Alan Bean off his perch as the only artist to have visited another world.

    I can also belch the alphabet.

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