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Woah: Penn Just Gentrified the Moon


Photo by Charlie Sosnick, ChitapraProject Apollo Archive  / Public Domain (with edits)

Last week, President Gutmann announced the completion of PennMoon, a new Wharton satellite campus in the lunar crater Clavius. The facility offers a number of state-of-the-art moneymaking facilities for Wharton students, such as a Vertical Integration Lab and computers that only run Excel and LinkedIn.

However, local Moon people are livid about the expansion into their neighborhood. They say the development has displaced long-time residents and created a corporate construction boom.

Laszlo Klack is founder and president of Moonited, a political advocacy group for Moon people. His organization is lobbying the Galactic Council to stabilize rents and limit Penn’s lunar expansion.

“The subterranean ice deposit we use to harvest drinkable water got replaced with a Pret a Manger,” Klack said. “There used to be a great park nearby where you could mine helium isotopes deposited by the solar wind over billions of years. That’s an Urban Outfitters now.”

The development is managed by Penn Outer Orbit Properties (POOP). Using a number of subsidiary holding companies and eminent domain privileges granted by the Galactic Council, POOP was able to acquire rights to most of the real estate in Clavius.

Since PennMoon arrived, lunar rents have increased by 80%. Unable to afford the skyrocketing prices, Moon people are being pushed into unexplored parts of the lunar surface.

“Nobody wants to live on the Dark Side,” Klack said. “There’s no sunlight and the subzero temperatures make it essentially impossible for organic life to survive. But that’s what we’re being forced into.”

Local Moon people assert that POOP engaged in illegal and unethical development practices, such as alien blockbusting and razing entire blocks of moonrock homes. POOP denies these claims.

The conflict came to a head last month. More than forty Moonited activists were arrested for joining hands during a moonwalk, blocking spaceship traffic headed to the construction sites. Moonited is petitioning the Galactic Council for their immediate release.