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Jamestown is NASA's base station on the Moon. It was established in October 1973 on the rim of Shackleton Crater near the lunar south poleW, not far from the landing site of Seahawk, the lunar module of Apollo 15. Being capable of housing 3 astronauts at the beginning, it grew continuously over the years and can now accommodate several dozen people. By 1994, it includes several mining and construction facilities. The base is designed to be a settlement and research station for astronauts on routine trips to the Moon.



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The base was launched by a modified Saturn V rocket and landed on the Moon on October 12th, 1973.[1] The four descent engines, located on the sides of the base to help it land properly, were repurposed from the lunar modules, as well as the RCS thrusters. It was first occupied by the crew of Apollo 21, Molly Cobb, Robert CrippenW, and Joseph EngleW.[2]

Jamestown was equipped with three bunk beds for the crew, lockers for personal belongings, a kitchen, a shower, a small lab, a board for planning new missions, and a video communication system by which the astronauts were able to talk with Mission Control and their relatives back on Earth.


By 1983,[3] Jamestown had undergone two expansions, being carried mostly by the Sea Dragon, NASA's new super heavy-lift launch vehicle. The expansions included new living quarters, several rovers, and nuclear power supply. The large phase III expansion was controversial, after it was made public that the launch was carrying more plutonium for the base's nuclear power source. This mission also secretly carried a second reactor intended to make weapons grade plutonium.

New crews varied between 4 and 5 personnel who stayed at the base for 6 month, resulting in dozens of astronauts living at the station at any time. Crew rotations were carried by Space Shuttles, which had replaced the Apollo program from the 70s.

On May 1983, the biggest solar flare event ever registered hit Earth and subsequently also the Moon. All astronauts had to seek shelter in the base' underground bunker, those too far away to make it in time as deep as possible in a fitting lava tubeW. During the event, Molly Cobb and ESA astronaut Wubbo Ockels were exposed to high radiation for a prolonged amount of time, after Wubbo crashed his roving vehicle and was rescued by Molly.[4]

In fall 1983, an attack on the base by Soviet cosmonauts almost destroyed the base when damage to the reactor almost caused a meltdown, only prevented by the heroic sacrifice of Gordo and Tracy Stevens.[5]


By 1992,[6] Jamestown had undergone a large amount of extra expansions, as well as a hotfire testing ground for testing new rockets engines, including the K-32 NERVA for NASA's planned mission to Mars.[7] Technicians were later sent to oversee the repair of the K-32 engine. This involved replacing it with a niobium alloyW nozzle that would cool more effectively in the vacuum of space. This radiative cooling design would be optimal, as long as the nozzle wall thickness was within correct tolerances - too much could be lost in translation.

Beside the Sea Dragon, the new second generation Pathfinder shuttles were used to carry cargo to the colony, while the first generation Space Shuttles were still in use for periodic crew rotations.

In fall 1994, NASA's Sojourner 1 spacecraft launched from Jamestown for its journey to the red planet.[8]


The base features multiple crew facilities, spread out through the base. Many of them are inside the connecting hallways between modules. Many research facilities are also located in the base. The central module contains the Commander’s office, communications equipment, and general systems for the base, as well as the base’s two nuclear reactors. Looking over the external facilities is the Control Room, which houses major equipment for the outpost and commands the mining operation in Shackleton Crater. Other facilities include warm showers, a garage, workshop, galleys, and exercise equipment.

Outside the pressurized portion of the base, several landing sites were built to land the LSAMs, among other craft. A large landing site is built specifically for the Sojourner spacecraft. Large solar fields are spread out through the hills around the base. Near the base houses the Jamestown Rocket Testing Site, which did a hot fire test of the K-32 NERVA in 1992.

Missions & crew[]

Apollo era
Apollo 21 Mission Patch Jamestown 1 / Apollo 21 Apollo 22 Mission Patch Jamestown 2 / Apollo 22
Apollo 24 Mission Patch Jamestown 4 / Apollo 24
Space Shuttle era
Jamestown 36 Columbia Mission Patch Jamestown 36
  • Cook
  • Diaz
  • Foster
  • Sanders
  • White

Space Shuttle: Columbia

Jamestown 81 Mission Patch Jamestown 81
Jamestown 82 Mission Patch Jamestown 82
  • Allen
  • Harris
  • Heikkinen
  • Stewart
Jamestown 83 Mission Patch Jamestown 83
Jamestown 84 Mission Patch Jamestown 84 Jamestown 85 Mission Patch Jamestown 85
  • Garcia
  • Hayes
  • Reed
  • Eric Powell
Jamestown 86 Mission Patch Jamestown 86 Jamestown 87 Mission Patch Jamestown 87
Jamestown 88 Mission Patch Jamestown 88 Jamestown 89 Mission Patch Jamestown 89

Space Shuttle: Discovery

Jamestown 90 Mission Patch Jamestown 90
  • Dubois
  • Jacobs
  • DeLeon
  • O’Brien
  • Smith
Jamestown 91 Mission Patch Jamestown 91

Space Shuttle: Columbia

Unknown mission   (launched in 1990 [9] [10] ) Unknown mission   (launched in mid 1992 [11] )




Behind the scenes[]

Concept art:



FAM Jamestown base reference in The Expanse S05E01

Jamestown reference in The Expanse

In the science-fiction series The ExpanseW, there is a hidden reference to the For All Mankind Jamestown base. In episode 1 of season 5 of the series, character Amos Burton visits Luna, Earth's colony on the Moon, in the year 2355. While walking through a tunnel, an advertising is popping up on the wall, reading: "Explore historic Jamestown Base, est. 1973".

See also[]


  1. For All Mankind TV Series - Season 1, Episode 5: "Into the Abyss" (57:30)
  2. For All Mankind TV Series - Season 1, Episode 6: "Home Again"
  3. For All Mankind TV Series - Season 2
  4. For All Mankind TV Series - Season 2, Episode 1: "Every Little Thing"
  5. For All Mankind TV Series - Season 2 (Episodes 9 + 10)
  6. For All Mankind TV Series - Season 3
  7. For All Mankind TV Series - Season 3, Episode 1: "Polaris"
  8. For All Mankind TV Series - Season 3, Episode 3: "All In"
  9. For All Mankind TV Series - Season 3, Episode 1: "Polaris" (02:27)
  10. Image: Episode 3x01 Promo - Danny Stevens arriving at Jamestown
  11. For All Mankind TV Series - Season 3, Episode 2: "Game Changer"