There was a story on the news about how a massive project was under way to build a resort on the moon that would be open to the public. The main complex would be under a huge dome with a breathable atmosphere, and a perfectly regulated climate of comfortable but mildly tropical temperatures. Gravity was an issue, of course, but a team of engineers had devised ways of working around this. The complex would rotate in such way that it would create a centrifugal effect that would perfectly approximate the Earth’s gravity. The rotation would be nearly imperceptible to the guests, although early testing had raised issues of motion sickness and nausea. However, the designers were confident that within a day or two the visitors would naturally adjust.
Of course, one wouldn’t travel all the way to the moon just to spend their time in an artificial environment engineered to simulate the familiar experience of being back on Earth. The resort would just be a place to relax and gaze at the stars spinning beyond the dome. It would just be a central hub to return to. People would go to the moon because they wanted to have the moon experience. Sight-seeing tours could be chartered aboard a lunar bus that would take passengers out to the Sea of Tranquility for some breathtaking photos that they could send home. The more adventurous could even don space suits for their very own moon walk, or rent lunar rovers for an off-roading joyride on the surface reveling in the diminished gravity. Naturally a lot of release forms would be involved.
This all sounded very exciting, but I wondered if I could get up the nerve to board a rocket shooting up into the sky. I’m not big on flying, but life is short and this was the kind of opportunity that you didn’t want to pass up before you died. Before I had time to really weigh my fears, I found myself strapped into the seat of a rocket, ready to be hurled into space. There was a moment of panic where I considered unbuckling my seat belt and running for the airlock, but by then the rocket was already in the air. The blue sky peeled away and revealed the stars. The agonizing pull of the Earth released me, and suddenly I was floating in awe.
My wife and I stood on the surface of the moon, staring at the Earth across space, spinning in the vast void. I was glad that we had made the trip. We had stepped beyond the edge of the world, and onto the larger stage of creation. I could never have fathomed the feeling without experiencing it for myself. We dropped off our bags in the small cabin of our room. I glanced out the porthole window at the rotating sky. All I could think was, “Wow! We’re really on the moon.” My mind boggled, even though my stomach felt a little queasy.