PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS  

5 members have voted

  1. 1. Where?

    • Mars
      1
    • Moon
      4


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Posted (edited)

With so much talk going on about SpaceX planning to colonize Mars and NASA planning to go to back the Moon, I've gotten thinking about some things - which one should we really put our bets in?

I'm somewhat biased towards going to the Moon by now, but it just seems logical to me: it's waay closer to Earth (2-3 days of space travel compared to 3-9 months), we've already got a bit of experience sending people there (we know what the dangers are), weaker gravity (easier to land on, launch from and build on), no atmosphere, there's areas with permanent sunlight (and lack thereof), the use of its Far Side to place radio telescopes with very little interference, not to mention the potential for mining (helium-3, iron, aluminium) and the confirmed presence of water.

Mars, on the other hand, what advantages does it have? Most of the arguments for colonizing it I see can be reduced to "for the sake of it" (we don't exactly have the need to be an interplanetary species "to guarantee our future", it may even be more dangerous to be such thing, as off-Earth people may claim independence from Earth; colonies on the Moon are just as equally "interplanetary" as colonies on Mars; there doesn't seem to be any economic reason to, for instance mining on Mars and sending materials back to Earth is more challenging than doing so on the Moon - you're just sending people there because you can)

 

It feels like that old fan-made KSP video, "Evacuate Kerbin!", where everyone is somehow convinced they should evacuate to Tylo, even though Laythe would obviously be a better option.

 

Any thoughts on this?

Edited by Aperture Science

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Old school me likes to think that the Moon is a conveniently located playground; it makes sense to me that one should first build a lunar base before trying the same on Mars, if only because the crew won't be commited to a full 2+ years, it will be easier to send additional supplies or evacuate sick people, and so on.

Mars seems like a better home because terraforming might be possible. Okay, so there's any amount of asterisks next to that statement, but at least it can be imagined. Even if possible, it won't happen until you have many thousands of people over there, or even a few million. I can't really think that far, I'm more concerned about the first hundred, which will live in circumstances very similar to what you'd need on the Moon as well.

However, proper colonization or base-building doesn't seem to be in the cards just yet. All we can expect in the next decade or so will be flags-and-footprints; and for that, Mars is far more interesting than a return to the Moon. Also more ambitious, perhaps even reckless.

Question is "where should or next crewed landings be" and I can't really make up my mind. To some degree, i don't even care. For the long run, see above.

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Going to mars without a camp building experience doesn't sound right to me.   In such a complex mission the odds of something going kapoot aren't low (parts breaking,people needing surgery etc),so mars doesn't look good on that.   To land on mars you need to have solved the refueling on the surface of mars issue which i doubt we will have solved as early as the first crewed mission on either bodies.If you were to ask me i would call for a Venusian Flyby the main issue with that being the increased radiation from the sun.  

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IMHO, Moon. And by plain practical reasons.

There's a lot to be learnt and relearnt about space travelling. We have a lot of more knowledge about staying at space than before , but we lost something on landings - see the mishap on Beresheet.

Or even SpaceX recently.

And not to mention the human condition, see Boeing and the utter fiasco called MCAS, and the recent news about NASA wasting two rockets 10 years ago due falsified quality reports from a supplier - that were doing that for 10 years!!

All that's needed are two generations to definitively loose a technology for good. And it will be exactly these two by the time we land on moon with our own feet once more.

We have to start all over from scratch. Again.

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Mars.

No, Europa. 

 

Hell, why not Alpha Centauri!

As long as we're dreaming, why not dream big?

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3 minutes ago, razark said:

Mars.

No, Europa. 

 

Hell, why not Alpha Centauri!

As long as we're dreaming, why not dream big?

I agree with my life’s dedication, except for one thing: Alpha Centauri is the star system. Is Proxima Centauri b (an exoplanet orbiting Proxima Centauri) what you’re looking for?

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I stand by what I said.

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Moon base first, supported by space station(s) in Earth's orbit. We need to learn how to deal with environment beyond relatively safe LEO. We need to learn how to build and maintain long - term habitats. We need to learn how to do ISRU properly. Building proper space industry would go a long way towards making sure, this time we'll plant more than just couple of flags outside of Earth too :)

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7 hours ago, Aperture Science said:

Which one should we really put our bets in?

Whichever one has the money... And so far, there's more money being put on the Moon than Mars, due to nations and companies expressing their plans for it (NASA/US is one, but I know China is planning theirs too. Russia is a bit of open question at the moment).

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Hi all,

 

The answer to the question depends on what your priorities are. Hunt down a copy of Robert Zubrin's Case for Mars. It clearly outlines why a Mars-First program is the only one that is going to lead to a sustainable program and one that yields real amounts of useful science.

 

The arguments are (and I am paraphrasing from stuff I haven't read in a decade):

(a) Mars is the safest place in the inner solar system. The Moon's surface might as well have a bull-eye painted on it when considering solar storms. LEO is only safe because of the Earth's magnetic field, and the opinion for crews to abandon their space station before any really big solar storms hit.

(b) Mars has the biggest bundle of resources that can be used relatively easily. Mars atmosphere and regolith contains practically all the minerals and elements we need to build a permanent civilization, including water, oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, phosphorus, iron, aluminium, carbon, silicon and uranium. The Moon has diddly-squat. The ice in the polar craters is quite inadequate for supporting a growing civilization (though it might do for a short term science base). The grand scheme to use the polar ice as fuel (H2 and O2 or as ALICE) would deplete the resource even faster than a growing colony.The rest of the moon is basically iron and aluminium with some trace contaminants.

(c) Mars has gravity that is much closer to Earth's (about 40%). Humans can probably live healthy lives there without resorting to multi-hour workouts each day, and exotic pharmacology. The Moon has only 16.6% Earth gravity. LEO has nothing, unless you plan to use artificial gravity.

(d) Because Mars has an atmosphere (for aero-braking and aero-capture) it is actually CLOSER to Earth in terms of delta-V than the Moon (not by much but it is). That means the same vehicle can deliver more mass to the surface of Mars.

(e) Mars has a variety of energy sources, including 12 hours a day of sunshine, geo-thermal, and wind. On the moon you have 14 days of sunlight out of every 28. For the rest of the 28 days you had better hope your batteries hold out.

(f) Mars is a whole new world of geography to explore and research. The Moon is just an overgrown asteroid with about enough geological interest as a square kilometer of the Grand Canyon National Park.

 

Of cause if your goal is not to establish a meaningful long term program, and instead go for another Flags&Footprints Photo-op then none of the above matters. The Moon is a resource sink for politicians forwarding the interests of their constituents (which mostly don't including the humans that voted  for them but rather the corporations that paid for their campaigns).

 

If your motivation for Space travel is not creating the next stage of human civilization then you are in the wrong business and wasting your time and other people's money.

 

Regards

Orc

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1 hour ago, Orc said:

... Motivation for Space travel ... creating the next stage of human civilization ...

In that case then a colony on the surface of *anything* is stupid. There's a reason the most advanced civilizations are those who can mobilize the easiest.

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Posted (edited)

The man do go to Mars, because, Mars is bigger than the moon and she is not more dangerous than Moon. 

Edited by DNKKING

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Moon primarily because its closer, this make build up, supply and evacuation far easier. 
You can evacuated directly from Moon surface or by Moon orbit.

Yes its an more hostile place than Mars and is an less juicy target but ease of access makes its an winner in my view. 

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This is the argument. By Orc.

Spoiler

The arguments are (and I am paraphrasing from stuff I haven't read in a decade):

(a) Mars is the safest place in the inner solar system. The Moon's surface might as well have a bull-eye painted on it when considering solar storms. LEO is only safe because of the Earth's magnetic field, and the opinion for crews to abandon their space station before any really big solar storms hit.

(b) Mars has the biggest bundle of resources that can be used relatively easily. Mars atmosphere and regolith contains practically all the minerals and elements we need to build a permanent civilization, including water, oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, phosphorus, iron, aluminium, carbon, silicon and uranium. The Moon has diddly-squat. The ice in the polar craters is quite inadequate for supporting a growing civilization (though it might do for a short term science base). The grand scheme to use the polar ice as fuel (H2 and O2 or as ALICE) would deplete the resource even faster than a growing colony.The rest of the moon is basically iron and aluminium with some trace contaminants.

(c) Mars has gravity that is much closer to Earth's (about 40%). Humans can probably live healthy lives there without resorting to multi-hour workouts each day, and exotic pharmacology. The Moon has only 16.6% Earth gravity. LEO has nothing, unless you plan to use artificial gravity.

(d) Because Mars has an atmosphere (for aero-braking and aero-capture) it is actually CLOSER to Earth in terms of delta-V than the Moon (not by much but it is). That means the same vehicle can deliver more mass to the surface of Mars.

(e) Mars has a variety of energy sources, including 12 hours a day of sunshine, geo-thermal, and wind. On the moon you have 14 days of sunlight out of every 28. For the rest of the 28 days you had better hope your batteries hold out.

(f) Mars is a whole new world of geography to explore and research. The Moon is just an overgrown asteroid with about enough geological interest as a square kilometer of the Grand Canyon National Park.

 

 

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Mars is easier to get to, and is easier to make a non-closed life support system work. It has a lower than earth gravity, which makes it a step toward the stars, but no so little gravity that we will need to bring our own gravity.
And it's far enough from earth that there's a natural 4-6 month quarantine in place, all but eliminating the possibility of a single cause of extinction hitting both places at once.

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Posted (edited)

Mars. Because:

Spoiler
  • Mars is better than the moon.
  • Mars is not more dangerous than the moon.
  • Mars is bigger than the moon.
Spoiler
  • Mars is the futur of humanity.
  • Mars have a lot of resource.
  • The gravity of March is almost similar to ours.
    Spoiler
    • Mars is more beautiful than the moon.
    • The moon is too small.
    • The Moon is very1000  Dangerous.
      Spoiler

      Regards

      DNKKING.

       

     

 

 

Edited by DNKKING

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Only problems with your logic is that the moon is much easier to get to, and at certain times Mars is far more dangerous, like the EDL phase, or the journey there. I agree that Mars is humanities future, but we just aren't ready yet. We can easily set something up on the moon at this point, but we don't have the experience in landing anything larger than the curiosity rover on Mars yet, so it is a good idea to take baby steps for now. 

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5 minutes ago, .50calBMG said:

Only problems with your logic is that the moon is much easier to get to, and at certain times Mars is far more dangerous, like the EDL phase, or the journey there. I agree that Mars is humanities future, but we just aren't ready yet. We can easily set something up on the moon at this point, but we don't have the experience in landing anything larger than the curiosity rover on Mars yet, so it is a good idea to take baby steps for now. 

Mars is cheaper to get to in dV, Moon is faster, adding return trip it cancel out a bit expect with ISRU, not that this is an requirement for mars. 
It also is for an long term Moon base. 
Mars is not safe in any way simply as its very limited abort options. You can very easy end up in an way you will run out of resources and die setting like the old polar explorers however live in 4K. 
Moon failure modes tend to create craters, as you can abort from surface and rescue missions is plausible. 

Moon also have the benefit of being an revenue source because  of tourism and resources down the line.
Long term Mars is more interesting, but 25 year is not long term 

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Posted (edited)

Safety is good to keep in mind, but we're talking about putting humans on the surface of another world.  People are going to die doing it, whether we go to the Moon or Mars.  While the moon is much closer, the chances of a problem coming up where it makes that much of a difference are pretty small.

 

Edited by razark

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35 minutes ago, razark said:

Il est bon de garder à l’esprit la sécurité, mais nous parlons de mettre les humains à la surface d’un autre monde. Les gens vont mourir en le faisant, que nous allions sur la Lune ou sur Mars. Bien que la lune soit beaucoup plus proche, les chances qu'un problème se pose là où il fait une telle différence sont plutôt minimes.

 

The moon is very10  dangerous.

http://www.astrosurf.com/luxorion/toxicite-poussiere-lunaire.htm

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Posted (edited)

I‘m on #teammoon, it‘s closer therefore safer for the foreseeable future, it‘s got resources  to base an economy around while also benefiting the earth thanks to it‘s proximity.

If you want to have something permanent in space that may drive an eventual expansion beyond, you want a cislunar industry. There won‘t be an exodus to mars anyway even if it got anything you need to live, simply because it is much more unpleasant than any of the empty places on earth. 

Bonus point: you can stand on the surface of the moon and admire our blue planet.

Edited by Canopus

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6 hours ago, Orc said:

(f) Mars is a whole new world of geography to explore and research. The Moon is just an overgrown asteroid with about enough geological interest as a square kilometer of the Grand Canyon National Park.

This. The only thing the Moon has to recommend it is its proximity in travel time. Place it anywhere else in the Solar System, and it drops to the very bottom of the list of places that would be interesting to visit. Even by the standards of other minor rocky bodies it's a bone-dry carcinogenic ball of silicates and dust. You can't even use the "preparing for a Mars mission" argument, since there's going to be nearly no common technologies. The environment on the surface of the Moon almost completely fails to resemble the environment on Mars, and designs for dedicated lunar habs, landers, rovers, power systems, etc. are all going to be very poorly designed or straight up unusable for a Mars mission.

2 minutes ago, Canopus said:

it‘s got resources  to base an economy around while also benefiting the earth thanks to it‘s proximity.

And what resources would these be, exactly? There's some water, but not nearly enough for industry, especially if it's being used as fuel. Everything else it's got is also stuff that's as common as dirt on Earth. Plus, even if you did start mining stuff on the Moon, your proposed lunar industry is still going to be dependent on Earth for anything not made exclusively of a common metal. Any industry on the Moon is going to produce exclusively such things as are made only of metal and have reason to specifically be in lunar space, and that's not enough to support more than a small mining settlement.

One of the big things recommending Mars on the industry front is that it does have resources. Lots of them, in usable quantities. Martian civilization can, in principle, become self-sufficient and bootstrapping. A lunar civilization simply can't, because it lacks the resources. Sending stuff into space is expensive, and a goal of any plan for long-term activity should be to make that activity as independent of support from Earth as possible. High dependence on trade is all well and good from an economics standpoint, but it's not very useful in times of crisis.

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36 minutes ago, IncongruousGoat said:

This. The only thing the Moon has to recommend it is its proximity in travel time. Place it anywhere else in the Solar System, and it drops to the very bottom of the list of places that would be interesting to visit.

It isn't though. It sits right on our doorstep and thats what makes it one of the most important bodies in our solar system

38 minutes ago, IncongruousGoat said:

And what resources would these be, exactly? There's some water, but not nearly enough for industry, especially if it's being used as fuel. Everything else it's got is also stuff that's as common as dirt on Earth. 

But they are at the bottom of earths steep gravity well and bringing them on mass into orbit is complicated and expensive. 

40 minutes ago, IncongruousGoat said:

Plus, even if you did start mining stuff on the Moon, your proposed lunar industry is still going to be dependent on Earth for anything not made exclusively of a common metal. Any industry on the Moon is going to produce exclusively such things as are made only of metal and have reason to specifically be in lunar space, and that's not enough to support more than a small mining settlement.

When you can bring the bulk of raw materials you need from the moon, it's not going to hurt you to bring the small rest from the earth. 

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CHOICE ADVANTAGE DANGER      

MARS

 COLONIZATION, EXPLORATION, NEW RESOURCE, TRAVEL, AGRICULTURE, TOURISM AND PROSPERITY  Weightlessness during travel, Weather, Radiation and Neurological disorder ( stress, depression est... )

MOON

ENERGY,  TRAVEL, EXPLORATION, NEW RESSOURCE, AND TOURISM   Disease and Radiation


 

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