9: The Meta Probe crew death toll reaches nine. John Koenig, ordered to get the Meta Probe mission under way, returns to Alpha as its ninth and final commander, replacing Anton Gorski. (Breakaway)
12: Victor Bergman discovers that the huge amount of nuclear material stored at Nuclear Disposal Areas One and Two is creating fields of immeasurably intense magnetic radiation, and that repeated exposure to these fields is what killed the Meta Probe astronauts.
Area One erupts into a subsurface firestorm and is destroyed as it burns itself out. ILFC Commissioner Gerald Simmonds is brought to Alpha by Koenig in order that he may see firsthand the seriousness of their situation. Bergman states that Area Two will also flare up, far more intensely, unless the huge quantity of nuclear waste there is immediately dispersed over a wider area.
13: Koenig orders every available Eagle to attempt to scatter the nuclear material stored at Area Two. In mid-operation, the site goes critical.
1942 Hours (Lunar Time) - Breakaway. A massive series of nuclear detonations at Area Two reduces tens of thousands of square kilometers of the lunar farside to fusion plasma. Like an immense nuclear engine, the reactive force of the twelve-minute blast hurls the moon out of Earth orbit on a trajectory 52 degrees southward relative to the plane of the ecliptic. Captain Alan Carter, monitoring the attempted dispersal operation from high above the moon, is the only surviving eyewitness to the nuclear event. He manages to land safely at Moonbase Alpha.
Those on Alpha suffer the severe G forces created by the runaway moon. Earth sustains worldwide quakes and tidal surges. The Meta Probe launch platform is destroyed by the stresses created as the gravitational fields of Earth and its departing moon conflict.
Spacedock Centuri is thrown from orbit. The fate of the 223 persons aboard is unknown.
Due to Alpha's high departure velocity, devastated Eagle fleet, and unknown course, Operation:Exodus cannot be implemented. Leaving Alpha for Earth is impossible.
All contact with Earth is lost. Moonbase Alpha is isolated and alone. (Breakaway)
14: The severity of Earth's geophysical response to the moon's departure increases dramatically. The planet slips 5.7 degrees on its axis, creating devastating changes in the Earth's climate. On the European and Asian continents a new Ice Age begins, while North America, South America, and Africa are covered largely by lifeless desert. The planet's ozone layer disintegrates entirely except for a narrow and irregular band that remains near the equator. Vast areas of radioactive ash, created by intense and repeated volcanic upheavals, cover most of the land area of the planet. Complex life perishes, save that in Santa Maria, a seven thousand square mile region near what was once the California/Baja California border. The disruption lasts until at least May 2000.
Damaged sections of Alpha are sealed off and repairs begin
16: Signals from the planet Meta increase in strength as the moon moves closer
26: It is discovered that the immense fusion reaction that took place on the far side of the moon has created a huge, new 'mare' where Nuclear Disposal Area Two once was. Victor Bergman names it 'the Sea of Folly.'