DRIVE BY: China’s Moon Highway.
Flush with progress in their 'Belt and Road’ initiative, China is preparing to build a toll road to the Moon.
It’s 250,000 miles each way, with no place to take a bathroom break or buy a cup of joe. Is the world ready to drive to the Moon? Chinese developers think so. On Monday, in a crowded room at the Beijing Hilton, executives of the Ichiwichikando Heavy Projects Group announced their ambitious plan to construct a highway to the Moon by 2025.
In a twenty minutes presentation sponsored by online retailer Ali Baba, Ichiwichikando reeled off the wonderous details of the most audacious infrastructure project in the history of mankind. According to the perfumed and emoji-laden factsheets that were handed out at the close of the slide show, the project will:
Include a six-lane motorway, with solar powered lighting its entire distance. (Subject to eclipse).
Have toll booths every 10,000 miles. (Tolls for the entire trip estimated at US$1,300,000 each way).
Offer advertising billboards anchored to orbiting asteroids.
Incorporate toilet stops every 500 miles, with each loo using waterless features and housing a human cleaner dedicated to keeping the space free of what are being politely called ‘floaters’.
House electric charging points every 200 miles, with facilities only available to China built cars.
Operate a speed limit of 14,000mph. Traffic police operating in rockets to enforce the law. (Offenders face punishment by death, as per standard Chinese custom).
Distribute free copies of Chairman Mao’s little red book for enroute reading enjoyment.
Offer camp grounds every 500 miles, with fans in each tent to dispel any sense of ‘airlessness’.
The organisation, ingenuity and outright chutzpah of the project awed the audience. However, among some observers, doubts remained about the cost of such an enterprise. No nation or organisation has ever built a road that hangs in the air without tangible support and the price tag to invent a gravity defying highway seemed subject to much guesswork. Despite this, though, one thing was clear, if the construction comes in at the budgeted cost of US$14 trillion, it will make the funds expended on the US Apollo lunar program of the 1960’s and 70’s look like loose change.
RFN asked experts at NASA and the European Space Agency for their thoughts on the feasibility of such an enterprise. Kelly Cratar, Head of Outlandish Offworld Projects in Houston, called the Chinese plan ‘Hogwash’ and stated that ‘No way will they get this done. Hell, they can’t even build a decent toaster.’ Michel Boneyheh, Director for Spending a Lot on Very Little at the ESA agreed. He said that the Moon highway was a ‘Un fantasie’ and that no current motor vehicle was airtight enough or could hold enough oxygen to last for the expected one-year drive in each direction. He also mused about children asking 'Are we there yet?' every half hour.
None of this criticism seemed to blunt Chinese enthusiasm for the project, with the government declaring that the first 1000 families to drive to the Moon would receive a special gold plaque to hang on their lunar tomb. More than three million households signed up for the trip in the first 24 hours and knock-off Gucci spacesuits were imediately selling like hotcakes on Ali Baba.
Art of the steal
Meanwhile, as always, President Trump weighed in with the last word on the subject, lighting up the Twittersphere with this tweet: ‘China Moon road? Bad idea. Low-energy China never build it without Trump. SAD day for space. WITCH HUNT! No Russia collusion.’