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8 Life Support Systems
The Alphans are dependent on fragile life support systems. The life support systems are very centralised and often threatened. Simmonds steals the power storage core in Earthbound, and the creature steals the life support core in The Beta Cloud. Cantar & Zova modify life support in The Exiles causing explosions, and the duplicate Alpha is depressurised from here in One Moment Of Humanity. Helena is able to anesthetise the entire base in TBOW2 from life support. Aliens often leave the Alphans on minimum life support (The Testament Of Arkadia, One Moment Of Humanity). The systems often need small quantities of very rare minerals: tiranium (Catacombs Of The Moon) and dylenide crystals (The Mark Of Archanon) are found in the catacombs under Alpha, but milgonite (All That Glisters) and titanium (The Metamorph) must be found on alien planets.
By MFMBA the Moonbase life support systems are slowly decaying and are expected to fail, leading to the decision to abandon the base.

8.1 Artificial Gravity:
Artificial gravity is used inside Eagles and the Moonbase. In Black Sun Bergman introduces the gravity system: "These eight anti-gravity towers stabilise our gravity here inside Alpha". He creates a forcefield by "linking and cross-linking the screens in each of the towers". In Another Time, Another Place a checklist includes "artificial gravity". In War Games Kano states "Anti-gravity units in all areas are smashed beyond repair", while in Space Brain Bergman explains "we had to turn gravity control right down". Strangely, astronauts bounce as if in low gravity in the immediate vicinity of the towers, seen in Black Sun, Ring Around The Moon, Alpha Child and The Last Sunset. Even more strange is the tower seen on Earth in Another Time, Another Place. Nuclear Disposal Area One in Breakaway had an "artificial gravity system", now deactivated, although the modified anti-gravity towers can still be seen. The model towers are also seen in Earthbound, The Last Enemy (providing the forcefield), Brian The Brain & The Bringers Of Wonder part 1. "Anti-gravity screens" are forcefields used by Eagles in Black Sun, Ring Around The Moon and War Games. These screens are also referred to in Space Brain & The Exiles. In War Games the Eagles have "Compensators at Earth gravity", while in Earthbound an Eagle extends it's gravity to an alien spaceship, under control from Main Mission ("Activate gravity control").
8.2 Atmosphere
The base can be depressurised in its entirety (One Moment Of Humanity) or specific sections (End Of Eternity, airlocks and launch pads areas). Explosive decompression is a risk (Breakaway, War Games, End Of Eternity, Space Warp, The Dorcons, the melting atmosphere seals in Matter Of Life And Death). In The Bringers Of Wonder part 1 we see an "Emergency Depressurisation Unit" oxygen supply, while War Games demonstrates how window cracks are sealed and The Seance Spectre shows a similar procedure in an Eagle using a plastic sheet and a hardening agent sprayed on it. The catacombs in The Mark Of Archanon have "Pressure Normal" warning signs. The launch bay in The Last Enemy has a "Pressure Difference" sign (the categories are "Low- Balanced- High") as does the airlock in The Last Sunset. Airlocks are seen in Ring Around The Moon, The Last Sunset, Missing Link (Airlock West), End Of Eternity (Airlock E), Space Warp (Airlock 7 & a moonbuggy airlock) and The Dorcons (Airlock 2). A vacuum chamber is shown in The Beta Cloud, as is the capacity to flood Hydroponics with a chlorine atmosphere. Luckily, ventilation ducts are not normally sealed, allowing Maya to use them in The Beta Cloud and The Bringers Of Wonder part 1. Ironically the base is inadequately sealed against external pressures, as in Space Brain when the foam bursts in, or The Seance Spectre where Tora's atmosphere could contaminate the recycling system.
Spacesuits supply oxygen through a wire from backpack to helmet (seen in TBOW2), which according to War Games stores about 100 minutes of oxygen. In some episodes backpacks are not worn: they are replaced by EVA packs in Space Brain & The Exiles, and by fire extinguishers in The Bringers Of Wonder part 1 (fighting fire in vacuum is a rare experience). Eagles have to depressurise and repressurise the entire passenger module for EVAs, although Earthbound shows a vacuum chamber which can be separately depressurised. Eagles have an "oxygen recycling plant" (The Seance Spectre) which can normally support life for at least six months (Black Sun).

8.3 Recycling
The Moonbase also uses recycling. The "oxygen recycling system" is mentioned in Seed Of Destruction, and "recycled survival gases" in The Seance Spectre. The recycling plants may recycle air, water, food and waste together, perhaps using algae and higher plants. In War Games Sandra notes "The food production and recycling plants have been very badly damaged." Eva in The Seance Spectre reports a spurious medical emergency in "Recycling Plants One and Two." When power is cut in Force Of Life, Paul itemises the deterioration: "In twenty minutes, all our sick in the intensive Care Unit will die. Thirty minutes, our recycling plants will be damaged beyond repair. At forty our oxygen will give out." Alpha experiences these problems in Seed Of Destruction: "Water in the recycling plant is frozen. Hydroponics frozen. Protein production unit inoperative." Shortly after Alan reports "the oxygen units have failed." The decay is more rapid when the life support cores are removed: thirty minutes in Earthbound, while there is an instant 5 degree temperature drop in The Beta Cloud.

8.4 Food
Hydroponics Units are seen in The Troubled Spirit, A Matter Of Balance, & The Beta Cloud (although the plants are shown growing in soil, not gravel), and hydroponics is mentioned in Dragon's Domain, The Mark Of Archanon, The Taybor & The Rules Of Luton. The wall map identifies two "Hydroponic Farm Areas". Plants grown on the base include soybean (for hamburgers, The Mark Of Archanon), hops and barley (A Matter Of Balance), lemon (The Last Sunset), flowers (Dragon's Domain, The Rules Of Luton, the magnus solarium in A Matter Of Balance) and even a bonsai tree (The Taybor). The manna from The Last Sunset is "amazingly rich in second class protein and many of the essential vitamins. We can grow almost limitless crops, once we've removed all the hallucinogenic elements." A Protein Store, containing seeds from Earth, is seen in The Testament Of Arkadia (door combination 40980428). Evidently this is only required for reseeding should the crops fail, and during normal recycling it is not used. The only animals seem to be the doves in The Mark Of Archanon.
Many foods seem to be synthesised (hamburgers in The Mark Of Archanon, the imitation coffee in The Dorcons) although a good variety is available (including chocolates in The Beta Cloud). Bergman has a bottle of 60-year old brandy in Black Sun, Tony brews his own beer (The Taybor, Journey To Where, A Matter Of Balance- Verdeschi's brew number 29- , Catacombs Of The Moon, plus mentions in The Rules Of Luton, Dorzak), and punch is served at the party in Guardian Of Piri. Dining arrangements are rarely seen: a meal is shown in The Taybor in Koenig's dining room, and a camp meal in The Full Circle. The Recreation Centre in The Mark Of Archanon has mugs and cutlery, and Alan refers to "a little place just down the corridor", but we never see any restaurants, although four are indicated on the wall map.
8.5 Power
The main sources of power for Alpha are nuclear reactors, seen in Force Of Life (four Nuclear Generating Areas are mentioned), Alpha Child (the Generating Area), Earthbound (the Nuclear Power Station), Black Sun (the Main Power Unit, the same design as that in Earthbound), and the power rooms in The Exiles, One Moment Of Humanity & The Mark Of Archanon plus the life support centres in The Beta Cloud and TBOW2. The Main Power Unit is also mentioned in Ring Around The Moon. Solar batteries are mentioned briefly as back up power sources in War Games. The wall map identifies a "Sola Energy Plant" (sic).
Heating and lighting can be set in individual rooms (Force Of Life) within centrally controlled limits (The Testament Of Arkadia). Power cuts are frequent (Black Sun, Force Of Life, The Testament Of Arkadia, One Moment Of Humanity); the opposite situation occurs in Catacombs Of The Moon, temperatures reaching 40 degrees. Temperature gauges ("temperature centigrade", in 5 degree intervals from -5 to +50) are seen in Catacombs Of The Moon and The Beta Cloud. Power packs stripped from Eagles are used for power in Black Sun and One Moment Of Humanity; portable nuclear generators are featured in A Matter Of Balance & The Lambda Factor.