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In the 21st century, the Moon will likely become one more place where people live, learn, work, and play. As envisioned here, The Lunar Games could well reflect today’s athletic contests, but with only one-sixth the gravity of  Earth, holders of "world records" would have to specify which world they mean!  There would be “Moon records” in that case. 

As a writing exercise, select one of the proposed games featured above and below.  Perhaps that selection will be a game you are familiar with on Earth.  In fact, you may have participated in it.  In a one page paragraph, propose how to practice/train on Earth prior to participating in that contest on the  Moon.  Would your training be different on Earth than on the Moon?  Alternatively, how might you best train on the Moon to participate in an Earth-based contest.  Use the additional information given beneath the listing of games to assist in composing the paragraph.

Imagine lunar pole vaulting records (see above picture) over 120 feet (37 meters), long jumps of 180 feet (55 meters), and weightlifting records of masses equivalent to 2,500 pounds (1,136 kg) on Earth.

New events, such as human flight depicted above, could very well be possible with the Moon’s reduced gravity, allowing athletes to propel themselves on a course within the pressurized dome of the stadium. Also, imagine the acrobatics when gymnasts remain "airborne" six times as long as they do now!

The stadium containing these events has a clear roof manufactured from lunar materials. The roof  would keep out radiation while allowing an unobstructed view of the lunar landscape, quite a development challenge for future scientists and engineers.

Suspended from the top of the stadium, a holographic display shows highlights from the basketball game in the adjacent facility. Flags of participating countries line the stadium, and commercial advertisements cover the walls along the track. The event is broadcast to viewers on Earth through the large antennas outside.

Although many of the games’ attendees will be lunar inhabitants, spectators (and sports reporters!) will also travel from Earth. The terrain visitors arrive on lunar shuttles (visible in the distance) and, after being transported to the terminal at the end of the stadium, can use underground shuttle tubes to reach subsurface hotels for check-in before attending the events.


Additional Information

In the future, as people start to inhabit other worlds, there will be several physical and social changes and problems to consider. Humans are very much accustomed to the Earth’s environment as we know it. Scientists have not yet found another planetary body that, in its current state, will sustain human life. As you look at the stadium, what steps have been taken to ensure life support for the humans? From what environmental hazards would humans have to project themselves?

How have humans adapted to inhospitable environments on the Earth? Compare and contrast measures humans will have to take to protect themselves on the Moon or on other bodies in our Solar System with what has been done here on Earth at the polar regions, in the deserts, and under the sea.

What would be the capability of athletes who actually grew up on the Moon? Without the life-long need to work against the greater pull of Earth’s gravity, how would muscles develop? Would an athlete who grew up on the Moon perform as well as an athlete who grew up on Earth? Perhaps, there would have to be different classes of competition, depending on how long you’ve lived on the Moon!

About the Artist

Pat Rawlings produces space art reflecting robotic and human missions of planetary exploration, as well as visions of the eventual devlopment of space.

The above exercises are adapted from the NASA Document: HQL-433 (7-96) resident in NASA’s SPACE EDUCATORS’ HANDBOOK.

A Man of Integrity

A True Story by Jerry Woodfill

"How are you doing champ?" ...was how he greeted me. I was to be his caddy that day at Wicker Park, an Indiana public golf course 35 miles southeast of his home in Chicago. Because Wicker Park's pro welcomed him and his black golfer friends, I had steady work each weekend as a 12 year old caddy. The Windy City's links were not so accommodating in 1954 to black golfers even though these men were among America's finest business men, lawyers, doctors, and retired athletes.

The drive he walloped off the first tee landed far beyond the 150 yard drop-off of Wicker Park's 550 yard first hole, perhaps 270 yards down the fairway. For some reason, caddies were scarce that day. I was carrying a massive pair of leather bags, though I only weighed 120 pounds. During my struggle to the green, he seemed more concerned about me than his golf game. Gratefully, a caddy came from the clubhouse to shoulder one of those bags. Unbeknownst to me, he'd sent a message to get me help immediately.

He was so genuine, asking me about my dreams for the future... I never felt like his employee that day, though I was. He treated me as though I was a member of the foursome. Four hours later, I took his clubs to the car, regretting that my time with him had ended. Smiling, he waved as we parted. "What a special and wonderful man," I thought, "but I had never asked him his name. Somebody ought to know it?" Indeed, the first caddy I asked did. "Jerry, you just caddied for the world's greatest Olympian - Jesse Owens!"

More About Jesse Owens and the Olympics

1936 Olympics YouTube video


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