Community

Community as a concept is fairly simple. A group of people who work and live together come to know and appreciate all of the strengths and weaknesses of their respective group mates. Large numbers of individuals living, working and inte­racting for long periods of time in large communities is rare apart from some large expatriate communities. People seldom live and work in the same place. People who do live and work in the same place usually do so for limited periods and in some fairly restrictive environments as within military or science missions. The Moon would represent a different situation. The lunar facility would expand as time passed and evolve from a simple outpost to a much more diverse operation that may mirror a small city. This growing new city would encounter all of the is­sues that similar communities have experienced as they grew. Cities tend to be un­tidy places in many respects. They take on certain home-like characteristics that people enjoy. They reflect the character of their builders and the aesthetics of their inhabitants. So will the lunar community.

Much more care must go into design and construction of Moon communities due to the severity of the environment unlike its terrestrial counterparts. Failure to take into account concurrent basic human and hence community needs would cause many problems for managers interested in the overall effectiveness of op­erations within its parameters. How much space to devote to public areas, possible greenery, recreation and the creation of variability could be endlessly debated. Managers may decide in the long run that the needs for community outweigh some efficiency factors. Dorms will give way to apartments and apartments to custom-configured living spaces. Physical space on the Moon always may be at a premium and it makes sense to provide the best living and working environment possible. The goal would be to improve the livability of the habitation areas with­out significant loss of functional efficiency. The field of space architecture is ra­pidly developing in response to the unique needs of space-based operations (Howe 2009). Management requirements must be blended with human expectations to provide the necessary components for a reasonable lifestyle. You cannot pay people enough to be miserable for prolonged periods. Prospective employees that have options will be very resistant, regardless of the unique environment, to putting themselves in a place that is totally unsuitable by their standards. The addi­tion to that unsuitability of extended absences from friends and family, one of the most significant social stressors, means that managers will face increasingly se­rious problems as the novelty wears thin for their employees. Managers in charge of this environment may find their own morale at risk as they attempt to manage their management tasks, their employees and themselves. Community will be a consideration that will be important to everyone.

Updated: September 23, 2015 — 11:04 pm