This timeline only lists events directly related to Moonbase Alpha and it's role as custodian for waste nuclear material.
- Aug 22, 1981: Through a merging of NASA with the Soviet and European space agencies, the World Space Commission (WSC) is formed. All future manned spaceflight is to be approved, managed, and funded through the combined resources of all spacefaring nations. Decisions concerning all lunar activities are to be handled under the authority of a sub-agency, the International Lunar Commission (ILC).
- Feb 23, 1982: Nuclear power becomes the standard worldwide, replacing non-replenishable coal as the primary fuel source.
- Sept 25, 1983: ILFC authorizes the construction of 'Moonbase Alpha' as part of a lunar nuclear waste storage facility
- May 3, 1984: Construction of Moonbase Alpha begins on the floor of crater Plato (N. Latitude 52 degrees, W. Longitude 10 degrees) in the lunar Alps.
- May 21, 1987: World conflicts escalate. Peace talks at Geneva, moving slowly, accomplish little.
- June 9, 1987: Armed forces are mobilized worldwide. Construction on Moonbase Alpha is halted as resources are directed toward the impending military conflict.
- June 30, 1987: Western Switzerland is destroyed by a nuclear device of unknown origin. The blast is centered near the site of the peace talks, and all participating diplomatic negotiators are lost. John Koenig's wife, Jean, a UN translator, is killed. Nuclear retaliatory strikes begin. A limited global exchange takes place before a North Korean terrorist group claims responsibility for the initial detonation at Geneva. Despite the claim, the war continues to escalate.
- July 2, 1987: An emergency peace conference is called aboard Air Force One. For the first time, the world realizes the power of their nuclear arsenals. A cease-fire goes into effect at 2130 hours, GMT.
- July 28, 1987: Under the terms of the peace agreement, all nuclear weapons are broken down. Their fissionable materials are gathered for storage at an Antarctic facility used for the burial of nuclear power plant waste.
- Oct 4, 1987: Construction resumes on Moonbase Alpha.
- May 8, 1992: Initial construction on Moonbase Alpha is completed. Launch Pad 1 and the Space Exploration Division go into full operation. The above-ground structures support a crew of 100 while underground work continues.
- May 17, 1992: On the far side of the moon, Nuclear Waste Disposal Area One is established as a part of the 'final' answer to Earth's problem of radioactive waste disposition.
- July 11, 1992: The transport of nuclear waste from the holding site in Antarctica begins as Eagle spacecraft carry specially-designed containers to the disposal site on the moon.
- May 15, 1994: Disposal Area One is shut down as the larger Area Two begins operation.
- Aug 7, 1999: The first Meta Probe astronaut dies on the moon of a mysterious illness
- Sept 9, 1999: 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.
- Sept 12, 1999: 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.
- Sept 13, 1999: 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): 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. 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.
- Sept 14, 1999: Damaged sections of Alpha are sealed off and repairs begin.