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Terraforming Versailles on the Moon
Astrobotic Technology Inc.

Last week, government and commercial websites in South Korea and the U.S. were targeted with denial-of-service attacks. In the U.S., “[the websites] of the Treasury Department, Secret Service, Federal Trade Commission and Transportation Department were all affected at some point over the weekend and into this week.” And in South Korea, “at least 11 major sites have slowed or crashed since Tuesday [July 7], including those of the presidential Blue House, the Defense Ministry, the National Assembly, Shinhan Bank, the mass-circulation newspaper Chosun Ilbo and the top Internet portal”

There is evidence to suggest that the cyberattacks were instigated by North Korea, though a link to the rogue state may never be proven definitively.


From rogue states or not, from Russia or China, from the domestic front or not, cyberattacks like those of last week are real and significant threats to America's computer network systems. To develop defenses against such online attacks, the U.S. Defense Department has been creating specialized forces. For the Army, there is Army Network Warfare Battalion, which was activated last year. For the Air Force, there is the 57th Information Aggressor Squadron, whose hackers “spend their days and nights probing the military’s vast computer networks for weaknesses to exploit” in “a series of inconspicuous trailers” at Nellis Air Force Base. Meanwhile, at West Point and the other federal military academies, cadets can now choose to receive training in cyberwarfare.

“There is hardly an American military unit or headquarters that has not been ordered to analyze the risk of cyberattacks to its mission — and to train to counter them,” wrote the New York Times. “If the hackers were to succeed, they could change information on the network and cripple Internet communications.”


Also last week, New Scientist reported that the first node in space of the interplanetary internet went online. This newly installed system aboard the [International Space Station] could one day make communication automatic and less prone to data loses between earthbound networks and spacecrafts and astronauts orbiting the earth or in deeper space.

Astrobotic Technology Inc.

According to a press release prepared earlier this year by Carnegie Mellon, researchers at the university assisted Astrobotic Technology Inc. in developing conceptual robots capable of preparing lunar landing sites for a future moonbase.

Specifically, these lunar bulldozers would be tasked “to build a berm around a landing site to block the sandblasting effect” of multiple landings and takeoffs. Alternatively, a fleet of “small robots could comb the lunar soil for rocks, gathering them to pave a durable grit-free landing pad.”

It is envisioned that these robots would be sent to the moon in advance of human expeditions. In other words, these telepresent digging machines would be operated from earthbound venues — and thus prone to takeovers from hackers.

Not that that would be easily done. As far as we know, the rovers Spirit and Opportunity haven't yet been commandeered by hackers and programmed to dredge arabesque parterres on the surface of Mars.

Certainly, what would be easy is fantasizing about a rogue landscape architect with previous training in cyberwarfare at the National Security Agency. Because of the financial meltdown, he is between jobs, simmering and festering in soul-draining temp jobs, constantly bombarded by the cackles of gossiping colleagues in adjacent cubicles.

Clearly in need of a creative outlet, he sets up a botnet of thousands of infected computers to try to take control of the moon rovers. He will have to wait, however, until those robots have landed and their calibrations finished to start hacking the servers of NASA and what would then be a greatly expanded interplanetary internet. But once appropriated, he will upload a different set of instructions.

He will program them to terraform a full scale, regolithic Versailles on the surface of the moon.

  • Evan
  • August 2, 2009 at 7:26:00 PM CDT
  • Long time reader, first time writer. I really enjoy Pruned, but I have a question: What exactly is with the Versailles obsession? I mean I know it's a great garden and all, but it seems like every third post is about how Versailles could be re-created using a nifty new technology. I'm going to make you a miniature bonsai Versailles and send it to you for Christmas...

  • Anonymous
  • December 2, 2009 at 12:40:00 PM CST
  • To trully exist on the moon, we need and atmosphere. The lunar atmosphere is no more then 210 feet, extremely low density and comprised of flowting ionize particles. All these particle do is go up and down in a stationary position. What the moon needs is a rotation on it self. That is clearly out of our reach and susidle to life on earth.
    Building a biodome, takes to much time and raze questions on the structual dangers.

    I sugest building nine articial satelites to orbit the moon.
    these satelites should be composed dence material that channels the energy of the sun and emit a drag on the ionic atmospere.
    The satelites will then be stringed together, like a a halo.
    this connection should be conductable so all satelites will always be working 24 7. being tied together make sure that the distant will always be constant and so will the orbit.

    once it put in place, they will rotate around the moon in orbit. They will will drag the particle and create the wind. the particle will be exposed to the sun, causing them to heat. After to the cold! the rotation will be ajusted to the point that the atmosphere can banlance out to -30 to +38 degree.

    The motion of particles will create a atmosperic layering and presure.

    Then five moon dust processures will be installed.

    With the scorching sun light at are disposal the heat will be dirrected and put together a to make the 900 to 1200 degree furnace heat to release the water, hydrogen, nitrogen and other compound trapped in the lunar dust.

    This could also be achieved by building other satelites that fire off a condence beam of solar energy. this would be more effective in covering the whole surfice. Also cheaper and faster to construct.
    Eventualy, that satelite will haft to be removed, after the seficient element are in place.

    The halo should be built to last for thousand of years and have a very simple design like a nine beeded necless.

    over time the gases will make a protective layer of plasma like the earth. Then there will be density of the gases that will compensate for the lack of magnetic gravity and make it seem more like earths gravity.
    but this all depends on getting the just the right amount of rotations in orbit.

    so my friend, thats how we start the teraforming process withought having to put a foot on the moon. It is cheap to build, compared to super structures, it is also long lasting, low maintenance and fessable in our time.

    So get out there and spread the idea!

  • Rexxar
  • February 3, 2012 at 2:26:00 PM CST
  • @Anon
    Not only can you not spell, you also have no idea what you're talking about.

    The moon, does, in fact, have rotation of its own. It just happens to match up to the earth's rotation so that we always see one side.

    You cannot create an artificial atmosphere on the moon for the same reason there isn't one already. The moon simply does not have enough mass to hold on to a thick atmosphere.

    And, inducing planetary rotation by putting drag on ions with solar energy? That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. A very dense object would not orbit the moon, because again, the moon has very little mass, it can't hold anything heavy in orbit. It can hardly hold an atmosphere.

    You also don't know what plasma is. Plasma only exists at incredibly high temperatures. The atmosphere, on the earth or the moon, is not a plasma. In fact, I have no idea what you're even talking about.

    The density of an atmosphere does not affect the way gravity works. Also, gravity is not magnetic. The density of an atmosphere depends on the mass of the planet, which, once more, is why there is very little on the moon, as it has very little mass, and therefore, very little gravity.

    There is simply no way, at all, ever that you can build this crazy ring of satellites to last 1000+ years. And a 'condensed beam of solar energy' just.. I haven't the slightest idea. You cannot just fire off energy. It has to take a form. Microwaves, infrared, gamma rays, what have you. What you propose would kill everything living on the moon. The only way to shield them would be to put them.. in a biodome!

    What you propose is completely, totally ridiculous. The only way to keep people on the moon is in a contained environment, a biodome. There is no way to keep a significant atmosphere on the moon, and causing it to rotate faster, were it even remotely feasible, would serve no purpose.

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