Moon over Moscow

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It has been reported on good authority that the Soviet Union is already making plans to colonize the moon and Mars before the end of the century. This burst of good news will give fresh hope to all those who have been trying to get out of Russia.

All through history the Russians have been prevented from reaching out to gain access to a better climate. It now seems they are going to make it.

The fact that there is no free, breathable air on either the moon or Mars presents no serious deterrent to Soviet citizens, since as they point out, everything is relative. Many expect it to be easier to breathe on the moon than in Moscow. Lack of water presents no serious hazard, either. It means no more snow. And the weekly Saturday night bath can be taken just as well in a tub of vodka.

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No doubt some thought has been given to making Mars or the moon the new Siberia, providing an even more secure place to send political dissenters. While the new locations would be comparatively escapeproof, the Kremlin might hesitate to give prisoners a better place to live than Muscovy factory workers.

Basically, it is weather that sends a nation's people out beyond their borders, seeking new frontiers. Englishmen spread themselves over the entire world just to get away from the English winter and find someplace with sunshine. Russia had a horrible climate, too, but Russians didn't go anywhere because it is too difficult to get a passport out of the country.

How long it will take the Soviet Union to put a substantial population on the moon has not been disclosed, but it will behoove the United States to keep its space program in high gear. Once Lunar Moscow is established, complete with factories, stolen computer parts, and a five-year program, Congress will find itself involved in a new debate over Soviet relations.

But in the end, the US will have to have some way to ship wheat up there.

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