Aside from visiting Mars, space nerds would love to see a permanent habitat on the moon. Consider me skeptical. But what happens if you get to the moon and someone inevitably needs medical attention? Well, in 1992 this NASA-commissioned illustration from Pat Rawlings sought to illustrate how that might work.
Lunar pioneers will encounter hazards and crises requiring new emergency procedures. Here, an antenna installer fell over a 90-foot escarpment and fractured his right femur. Responding to this situation on a “medivac” hopper, two other lunar base crew members employ a portable CAT-scan device, a holographic display, and helmet-mounted heads-up displays to determine the severity of the injury. After an inflatable Thompson splint is placed on his leg, the semiconscious technician is transported back to the base strapped onto the side of the hopper.
We’ve seen plenty of emergency medical scenarios in sci-fi over the years (one of my favorites is from the much-maligned Prometheus), but first we need a reason to go back to the moon. And as I’ve explained many times before, the United States hasn’t quite found a reason just yet.