Moon River

moon water

Watery mantle – Evidence from ancient volcanic deposits suggests that lunar magma contained substantial amounts of water, bolstering the idea that the Moon’s interior is water-rich – Olga Prilipko Huber – Brown University

Francisco Sanchez was the chief surveyor on the Moon Base One project at Mare Tranquillitatis. His team, plus support personnel, lived in a series of dome covered depressions nearly a mile distant from the site of the proposed base colony. In the temporary survey shelter, heated and pressurized to a “shirtsleeve” environment, he was going over the latest seismic and radar data with his team leads.

“You’ve got to be kidding me.”

“Read ’em and weep, Chief. This solves one of the biggest problems we have in establishing a permanent lunar colony.” Barbara Lawless was not only one of the best lunar geologists in the business, she was the group’s undisputed poker champ, dubbed such both by the NASA staff and SpaceX contractors.

“I mean, we’ve known for decades that there was water trapped under the surface, but…” Francisco’s brown eyes went wide as the examined the information. At 54 years old, and with 30 years of NASA experience, he didn’t think there was much left that could surprise him.

“Here are the radar images of the layer where we believe the find resides.” Patricia Massey was 100% nerd, right down to the horned rim glasses, and with the exception of her unruly mane of flaming red hair, she communicated an all-business attitude, unlike the highly excitable Lawless. “See here?”

“It’s a river. There’s a river under the Moon.”

“Moon river…wider than a mile…I’m crossin’ you in style some day…”

Barb’s off-key rendition of the nearly century old tune grated on everyone’s nerves including hydrologist Joshua Long, who was the only lead not huddled around the drafting board looking at the printouts.

“Wait a second.” He was downloading the latest readings from the radar scanner he’d retrieved half a mile north, toward where their living quarters were located. “You’d better hang on to something, Francisco, it get’s worse.”


“I’ve got it downloaded onto my tablet. Here.” He handed it over to Sanchez.

“Oh crap. We’ve got to scrub. The river rises as it travels north.”

“Chief, the main crew are digging under the domes right now to expand…”

Francisco was already on the comm. “Sanchez to Survey Base. Cease all excavation operations immediately. Repeat, cease excavation. You’re less than forty feet from breaking through to a mile-wide river directly under the crater!”

I wrote this for Music Challenge #32: “Moon River” sung by Audrey Hepburn #musicchallenge #amwriting #MLMM hosted at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. Today’s challenge is to use some aspect of the 1961 cover Moon River by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer to craft a poem, short story, or some other creative work.

Given the recent revelation that there are large bodies of salt water under the surface of Mars, I decided to see if the same could be said of our Moon.

According to articles I found at National Geographic, EarthSky, and a news item from Brown University, there may be abundant supplies of water inside the Moon.

Okay, I’m taking great liberties with this data, and admittedly, my research and scientific accuracy is dodgy, but it was fun to write. At one point, I thought of having a lot of these astronauts fall into the river and discover life, but I figured that was pushing it.

5 thoughts on “Moon River

    • For me, what’s more important is that a large supply of subsurface water increases the likelihood that someday we could have long-term colonies on both the Moon and Mars. Still have to solve other pesky problems like the effects of microgravity on humans as well as the dangers of radiation.


  1. Really impressive. This is so creative James, I love it. You have this almost unrelated story, manage to weave a bit of the song in. I love your description of the one character “100 % nerd” and also your last paragraph is fantastic, exciting and shocking that they’re about to dig through to a river a mile-wide below them. This would make a great sci-if action novel. Thanks for participating, I was surprised, but love the creativity 🙂


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