Can a base on an airless moon or planet survive the worst parts of human nature?

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I have been wondering lately about the survivability of large bases on airless moons or planets. I can’t think of any way to protect a base on the moon or Mars from a deranged individual determined to kill everybody there. It seems to me that there will be many occupations on a base like that that would provide an involved crewmember with the opportunity to use that position to destroy the base or kill a lot of people, like rocket pilots. What would the population of a base have to be before it was certain to include some determined terrorists, deranged individuals or someone prone to snap? It seems like it happens here all the time but luckily we have air everywhere and nobody can depressurize the planet or crash into it and destroy it. Does anyone think that I’m completely wrong and if so why?
 

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  • #2
berkeman
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Interesting question. Perhaps the initial occupants will need to be screened similarly to how the crews on nuclear submarines are vetted. And perhaps a military or paramilitary structure will need to be used to help maintain/ensure order. Hmm...
 
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Bandersnatch
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I imagine one would design the hypothetical lunar base with sufficient redundancies, bulkheads and airlocks, so that no single failure could compromise the entire system.
 
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phinds
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It seems like it happens here all the time
yes, out of the 330,000,000 people in the US there are perhaps hundreds who are domestic (or less likely, foreign) terrorists and dozens of them that actually act on it. In 2019 there were 25 recorded terrorist attacks in the USA. That's 25 out of 330,000,000 people and I suspect that none of the 25 would have passed muster for a space journey with any significant degree of screening.

I'm not saying it's not a conceivable problem but I suspect that in the overall scheme of things, a space colony with have that risk way down near the bottom of the list.
 
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256bits
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It seems like it happens here all the time but luckily we have air everywhere and nobody can depressurize the planet or crash into it and destroy it
Your comparing the destruction of the entire world and its people with the destruction of a location?
Seems lopsided.
The survivability on a moon base or on earth location - how much does that depend upon the air you breath, rather than other factors, of which depressurization would be just one.
 
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jack action
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a deranged individual determined to kill everybody
I don't think such individual exists or has the capacity to "kill everybody".

First, a truly deranged person cannot have the capacity to organize such plan. They will kill a few individuals at most and will be stopped quickly by others (and they often stop by themselves first, way before "everybody" is dead).

Second, in any society, nobody has the total control over a critical component that everyone depends on. Even launching a nuclear attack is not a "one man job", anywhere in the world. Even if one would somehow destroy the water supply of, say, New York City, they would be able to find water from surrounding cities somehow. One individual destroying the water supply of everyone at the same time? I cannot see it happening.

Third, only a well organized group could do real damages, usually in a form of war. There are no groups of "deranged" people. Somehow, it is always be about getting power over other people. If you kill everybody, then there is no power to get; because you're alone.

Nobody wants to kill everybody. The deranged ones that try have always failed, miserably. Made damages? Yes. Destroy everything? No.

But it does make great scenarios for movies and novels.
 

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