Sarang Mining Base
In 2035, Lunar Industries have made a fortune after an oil crisis by building Sarang station, an automated lunar facility to mine the alternative fuel helium-3, which is used primarily to power fusion reactors and other things that run on fusion energy. The name of the Lunar station, and written on one of the mineral tubes that Sam unloads from the mining machine has the word Sarang written in English and Korean. Sarang is Korean for “love”. Sarang also means peacock in Sanskrit language, and means nest in the Malay language as well. Helium-3 (He-3) is a light, non-radioactive isotope of helium with two protons and one neutron. It is rare on Earth, and it is sought for use in nuclear fusion research.
The movie begins with a commercial for Lunar Industries, a company that has found alternative energy sources on the moon. True to the nature of any corporation, costs are apparently kept to a minimum by having only a single human being on their moon base to oversee the extraction of Helium 3 — the precious alternative energy source. Consequently, Sam Bell is that sole employee who is serving out his 3 year contract on the moon. Stationed with him on this moon base is a computer with an emoticon personality named Gherty 3000. As the lone employee stationed at their lunar facility, Sam’s primary job responsibility is to harvest and periodically ship (via rocket) to Earth supplies of helium-3; the clean and apparently extremely abundant fuel source used by future society.
With 2 weeks left of his contract, he is more than ready to go home. Living in isolation on the dark side of the moon for the past 3 years, with the satellite dish down, his only link with Earth are company transmissions, delayed TV feeds of sporting events, and the occasional pre-recorded video relay from his wife. With not another living soul on the moon, Sam occupies himself by talking to his plants, carving a miniature model of his town, and talking to GERTY. Sam thinks he’s going insane from the psychological stress of isolation and starts seeing things. He scalds his hand on boiling water and later causes a serious crash with his rover, knocking out one of the giant combine harvesters. This is where the real mystery begins, as Sam discovers that he is not alone.