Tales of the Solar Patrol: Class of 2058
Rarely called “the Moon” any more except by the ignorant or the old-fashioned (there are too many moons of importance in the System for any one of them to be granted “the” status – at best, it should be referred to as “Earth’s moon”), Luna is home to the oldest human settlements off Earth. New Plymouth Dome holds slightly over a million Lunarians (the term “Lunatic” is considered insulting if used by an outsider, but acceptable if used between Lunarians), and Luna in general has a population of 20 million. Luna was first settled in the early 1970s. In the first few years, formal government-sponsored colonies were the norm, but by the middle of the 1970s, corporations, small subcultures, and even backyard mechanics found ways to get to there and settle down. The ease of converting standard jet airplanes to space-worthy (barely) vehicles triggered a gold rush of Lunar settlement, or, more specifically, a diamond rush.
Luna in 2056 is the largest industrial and shipbuilding center in the System. The iconoclast and the individualist still call it home, but it maintains this stance by encouraging open debate and expression of ideas in public – not by allowing isolated colonies to rule themselves. The old “Wild West” days of the first few decades of Lunar settlement have become a thing of romantic distortion (and the occasional documentary trying to set accounts straight). A portion of Yeager Dome has been preserved as a charred, half-molten ruin, a memorial to those lost in the first attacks of 2020, and a permanent reminder of the errors that allowed those attacks to occur.