The Moon (Latin: Luna) is Earth’s only natural satellite, and is the fifth largest one in the Solar System. The average centre-to-centre distance from the Earth to the Moon is 384,403 km, which is about thirty times the diameter of the Earth. The Moon has a diameter of 3,474 km —slightly more than a quarter that of the Earth, and about two-thirds of the average east–west distance across the United States. This means that the volume of the Moon is about 2 percent that of Earth. The gravitational pull at its surface is about 17 percent of the Earth’s. The Moon makes a complete orbit around the Earth every 27.3 days, and the periodic variations in the geometry of the Earth–Moon–Sun system are responsible for the lunar phases that repeat every 29.5 days.
The first artificial object to escape Earth’s gravity and pass near the Moon was the Soviet Union’s Luna 1, the first artificial object to impact the lunar surface was Luna 2, and the first photographs of the normally occluded far side of the Moon were made by Luna 3, all in 1959. The first spacecraft to perform a successful lunar soft landing was Luna 9, and the first unmanned vehicle to orbit the Moon was Luna 10, both in 1966. The United States (U.S.) Apollo program were the first manned missions to the lunar surface, resulting in six landings between 1969 and 1972.
As part of the Earth Defense Initiative (EDI, not to be confused with the Extra Dimensional Invasion) research facilities were constructed on the moon in an effort to explore the surface for possible alien visitation and to mine for water. The plan was to use the moon as a staging area for future exploration of the solar system, using the water to make the bases more self sufficient and to use the water as reaction mass for future space craft. Unfortunately water was not found in any great quantity and one by one the lunar facilities were shut down.
A final tragedy occurred on September 13th, 1999 when the final base’s nuclear reactor went critical and resulted in a meltdown. Many astronauts and scientists were slain and others sustained critical injuries in the form of radiation burns and trauma due to decompression. For more than a decade the moon had been abandoned.
Or so everyone thought.
The Vindicators discovered a secret organization called ECLIPSE was secretly employing abandoned facilities on the moon. They also discovered various alien artifacts (mostly spacecraft) stored there. These facilities were destroyed, but again it was a clever ruse on ECLIPSE’s part. Since that time ECLIPSE, an organization secretly formed to counteract alien invasion, has been disbanded, it’s technical secrets laid bare.
These days the moon is home to new research facilities as various corporations are seeking to find ways to mine it for resources to feed the ever growing space industry. Among these facilities is Auger base.