General Question

squirbel's avatar

Which will have the first human habitat? Mars or the Moon?

Asked by squirbel (4292points) February 28th, 2008 from iPhone

This is just a wager. The space race is picking up again! Choose one and explain your guess, and toss in an approximate date :D

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16 Answers

GD_Kimble's avatar

moon. it’s just logistically easier, and will serve as a dress rehearsal for Martian colonization.

syz's avatar

I seriously doubt (and regret) that we will every colonize space. We lack the political and economic will to invest the money, resources and development necessary.

Perhaps, when we’ve totally screwed ourselves here on this planet, we’ll have enough time to make a last ditch effort.

GD_Kimble's avatar

…within the next presidency. We’re still smarting over MIR and are rushing to catch up.

GD_Kimble's avatar

..well, perhaps not “rushing”, but I think we’ll have a small moonbase very soon. sorry for the disjointed afterthoughts.

diceliving's avatar

although it would make sense and be cheaper to colonize the moon – i think that once possible (financially and technological) the big space race will ultimately focus on getting to the Mars. realistically something like this may not occur for ten – twenty years.

squirbel's avatar

if I might add that a large amount of private money is funding space projects these days, and the problem is being tackled by non-governmental groups!

diceliving's avatar

that reminds me of a comment made in Fight Club about corporations in space – starbucks moon; microsoft galaxy etc ((not sure of the exact quote but you get the idea)

paulc's avatar

I think it is conceivable that the first colony will be an orbital station. The sort of idea from 2001: A Space Odyssey where there is a rotating ring or appendage that induces gravity isn’t such a bad idea. Until we can travel to places like Mars in shorter amounts of time, I don’t think there will be much activity colonizing those places. The Moon is also possible in the near-future but it is still very expensive to fly a mission there let alone one with the components for a colony.

allknowingone's avatar

in one of my popular machanics magazines they said that NASA has been working on ways to build a civilization on the moon and they plan on sending shifts of people up to work on this. It may just be a rumar I am not for sure but that’s just what I have seen

gooch's avatar

Moon in 75 years or so because it closer and cheaper

nerfmissile's avatar

The Moon and not because it’s a dress rehearsal for Mars expeditions. It’s because it has economic incentives. The lunar regolith is our greatest nearby source of tritium, which will be hugely important for any fusion-based economy. Further, the Moon is an ideal location for space-based structures that will allow us to study the Universe—its hundreds of miles of rock block out noise from the Earth while performing deep-space scans. Finally, the Moon can supply cheap raw resources to orbital manufacturing efforts without disturbing Terrestrial ecologies. We can strip-mine the Moon to build orbital habitats and space ships without ethical considerations because there are no organisms or ecologies to disturb. And export of Lunar materials will be much cheaper because there’s much less gravity and no atmosphere to overcome—both of which greatly increase cost-to-orbit.

By the way, paulc : the Moon is an orbital station. It just hasn’t been built yet.

Temporary Lunar habitat : 2020.
Permanent Lunar habitat : pending tritium mining and/or the discovery of “duhhhhh… looks like we can build underground pressurized tunnels to get around the problems of radiation and meteor storms…. duhhhh!” .... 2050.

ironhiway's avatar

I second nerfmissile, the moon and not because of politics or exploration, but it will be profitable. I wonder how much a Vente Solar Sunset Latte will cost.

8lightminutesaway's avatar

The moon. It makes sense because launching a ship off earth requires a lot of fuel so stopping at the moon makes to refuel and also to lighten your ship of components no longer necessary since you did the hard part of the trip already.
@nerfmissile, as I was researching fusion, I was under the impression that tritium was not the best resource to use for fusion for one reason or another I can’t recall, though it could be used. This sound right to you?

Captain_Tetanus's avatar

the moon will get a dome first, mars will be terraformed.

bgdbeatnik's avatar

I agree – domes and tunnels on the Moon… terraform Mars and make a self sustaining colony there.

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