‚ÄčLunar view

"I will see where my cousin Ron lives!" cried Jenny.

"I don't have any relatives on the Moon," said Ben.

"I haven't met him." Said Jenny. "But we sometimes talk on the videophone and I know him quite well. He fixes people's televisions in his city. He still studies. He wants to be an engineer. He is studying with London University. He does very well. He will finish his studies in another two years."

Ben was glad Jenny's cousin was on the Moon. He was also glad he was twenty three years old. He thought Ron was an old man.

He changed the subject.

"When do we meet at the school to go to the Surface Dome?" he asked.

"Mr Moke said we were to be there at eight o'clock in the morning. He wants time to check that we all have all the stuff we need," said Jenny.

"Mr Moke is keen on space study, isn't he," said Ben.

"Yes, he loves it," said Jenny. "He got my cousin to send him some small rocks from the moon. He collects space things. He has a lot of tektites."

"Did he send your cousin anything?" asked Ben.

"Not yet. It costs a lot more to send things to the Moon. He is thinking he could get the InterFruit Company to deliver him some peaches. My cousin loves peaches and they grow them in North City, where he lives" replied Jenny.

"Have you sent anything to your cousin?" asked Ben.

"Most of the time I e-mail him. When I was little I did cut off some of my hair and sent it to him. Just in case he wasn't sure of the colour. Do you want to send him something? I have his address here," said Jenny.

"I'll write it down but I don't know if I could afford to send anything. I am usually short of money,' said Ben.

Ben wrote down the address in his notebook. This is what he wrote.

Jenny's cousin's address

Mr Ron Adams

#225

APT 9-053

Royal Town

North City

Moon

"Will I take my camera tomorrow?" asked Ben.

"Good idea," said Jenny. "We can leave mine here. Yours is better."

"Do you think we will go for a walk out of the Dome?" asked Ben.

"No way," said Jenny. "They charge too much to suit you up."

"What about in the bus?" asked Ben.

"Yes, we are doing that," said Jenny.

"Where are we going?" asked Ben.

"Tomorrow we are driving south to the Karri forest and the next day we go to see the timber workers cutting down trees," said Jenny.

"And tomorrow night we make sure that we can tell Mr Moke which star is Alpha Centauri and which planet is Saturn. We don't see the Moon until nine o'clock," said Ben.

"Yes, it is the best viewing night for a long time. There are four planets we can see. The telescopes are supposed to be very good," said Jenny.

"Have you told your cousin we will wave to him at nine o'clock?" asked Ben.

"Yes, I send him an e-mail several times a week," said Jenny.

"I'll see you in the morning, Jenny. Bye bye," said Ben.

"Bye bye, Ben," said Jenny

Ben woke up early and packed his bag for the trip to the Surface Dome. He made sure that he had his sweater in case the bus trips were cool. He put his camera in his bag. His pyjamas, shirt, socks and underclothes were all packed neatly in the bag. After he had cleaned his teeth he put in his toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste. He included a few comic books to read on the bus trip.

He was waiting when Jenny rang the doorbell. It was 7.25. He answered the door.

"Good morning, Jenny," he said.

"Good morning, Ben. Good morning, Mrs Kimton," said Jenny, greeting Ben and his mother, who had also come to the door.

"Good morning, Jenny," said Mrs Kimton.

"Ready to go?" asked Jenny.

"Yes, bye Mum," said Ben.

"Bye Mrs Kimton," said Jenny.

"Bye children. Enjoy your trip," said Mrs Kimton.

They walked to the school. Along the way they met other children also going on the trip. At the school they put their bags on their desks for Mr Moke to inspect. He checked they had all the items they needed and then everyone walked to the elevator to go to the surface. Everyone was talking. They didn't go to the surface often, and no one had stayed overnight there before. The elevator only had a few people in it and all thirty six of them were able to go up together. Mrs Moke was waiting at the surface. She had got there early to make sure the rooms for their stay were all set up. In the classroom they were going to use she had put a folder on each desk. The materials they needed for their studies were in the folder. The folder contained the following:

  • A star chart for that night.
  • A map to the Karri forest.
  • A map of the area where the timber workers were to be seen.
  • A picture of the Moon with the features they were to observe marked.
  • Seven question sheets to be completed. They were on the Moon, the planets Saturn and Mars, the patterns of the stars, the trip to the Karri forest and the timber workers. The seventh was asking them about the trip. Mr Moke wanted to know what they thought of it.

"Here are your room keys," she said. "Take your bags to them, get your pens, and then come back here."

There was a rush as everyone got his or her key. Mr Moke had already told them the rooms they were to be in. They quickly went to their rooms and came back ready to write.

Mr Moke addressed them. "Now that you are all ready, a reminder that the bus trip to the Karri forest takes all day and you are to complete the question sheet on it today. I will collect it when the bus gets back here. There are questions on all the things that you will see. Don't go to sleep. Don't copy someone else's work. I want your thoughts, not their's. Any questions?"

There were none. Mr Moke had been preparing them for this for weeks. They collected their files and went to the bus. They knew the bus-seating plan. Ben sat beside Jenny. Mr and Mrs Moke sat at the front. The bus was in the Surface Dome. The driver reminded them of emergency procedures if anything went wrong. The bus was sealed from the outside air, as the dust was not safe to breathe.