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Code of the Lifemaker copyright 1983/2010 by James P. Hogan.. All rights reserved. This book may not be copied or reproduced, in whole or in part, by any means, electronic, mechanical or otherwise without written permission from the publisher except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review.
This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any actual persons, events or localities is purely coincidental and beyond the intent of the author and publisher.
This book is presented as is, without any warranties (implied or otherwise) as to the accuracy of the production, text or translation.
ISBN (Digital Edition): 978-1-60450-470-5
ISBN (Paper Edition): 978-1-60450-456-9
Back in the early 1980s, when I was a new science-fiction writer living in the Sierra Foothills region of California about three hours’ drive inland from San Francisco, I got invited to a summer study held at the Goddard Space Center in Maryland. It was attended by people from NASA, the academic world, various space-related industries, and a science fiction writer. The object was to explore what roles computers might play in advanced space missions over the next twenty years and beyond. One of the topics considered was the concept of a self-replicating lunar factory. Essentially, the idea is to land a starter kit “seed” package on the lunar surface, consisting of a basic factory system and robot workforce whose first task is to locate and deliver materials that the factory uses to produce more robots. When a critical size is reached, a migrant robot force relocates to commence construction of a second factory, a duplicate of the first. The pattern repeats in a multiplying progression until it becomes possible to divert surplus capacity into supplying the manufacturing needs of Earth from lunar resources. Analysis of the applicable numbers led to the astonishing conclusion that after twenty years the output could exceed the entire production of all Earth’s present industries combined.