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View Poll Results: Moon Base, Mars Base or Neither
Moon 15 62.50%
Mars 4 16.67%
Neither. Let the robots do all the dirty work. 5 20.83%
Voters: 24. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-30-2017, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Deep 13
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Should we first start with a Lunar base or proceed with plans on going to Mars?
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Old 09-30-2017, 02:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucifer View Post
Should we first start with a Lunar base or proceed with plans on going to Mars?
Yes. The Moon is a lot closer to test out what would be required for a manned base on Mars. Mars is a very long distance from Earth. If something doesn't work or needs to be improved, Mars is too far to easily return or rescue in an emergency. The Moon would be a very good stepping stone for a Mars mission. We can still continue sending rovers and orbiters to Mars while testing on the Moon is done. It'd be more expensive in the long term, but the object would be to get people to Mars safely and able to survive for the length of a mission to Mars.
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Old 10-12-2017, 08:24 AM
 
Location: Missouri, USA
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The moon is closer, and it has water, but I don't know how they'd keep people living there for long periods of time without dramatic health problems resulting from the low gravity, and water on the moon would probably be a lot less easily accessible than water on Mars.

Mars has gravity that's about a third of Earth's, which might also cause health problems, but that's a lot more than on the moon and I've never heard anything about Mars' low gravity being low enough to be life threatening.

I'd seriously consider going strait from Earth to Mars and skipping the moon until we invent some kind of spinning space station that can generate respectable levels of gravity. If we do that, it could orbit around the moon and be a lot safer than orbiting around Earth with all it's celestial debris...I'd suspect, and then that would seem like the better deal. I'm not sure how much of a danger that celestial debris is though. Maybe they could just take the space station far enough out into Earth's orbit that debris wouldn't be a problem anymore...or not.

The moon would be closer...but then again, if there's a leak that they need to fix immediately, it would seem like it'd be more dangerous on the moon than Mars. The astronauts would be able to move less efficiently. The moon has much more extreme temperatures than Mars too. Mars also has a day/night cycle more similar to Earth's which would be more psychologically healthy:
http://education2.marssociety.org/ma...moon-issue-19/

The only benefit to going to the moon first I'd see would be that if enough things go wrong that the astronauts can't fix the problems themselves, they're not necessarily totally screwed, but that'd be pretty expensive and difficult to send in help anyway and Mars does have a few more resources the moon lacks that could make it more likely for the colonists to fix problems themselves.

Last edited by Clintone; 10-12-2017 at 08:47 AM..
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Old 10-12-2017, 02:17 PM
 
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Moon first to work out technology. The key is going to be propulsion and life support for a extended period of time. I'm not thing about permanent mars habitats at this point but effective round trip exploration. Just getting there and back would press life support and propulsion technology. Some form of nuclear propulsion will be essential for routine mars transit and we're more likely to be able to build it up from subcritical components in lunar rather than LEO just for political reasons.
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Old 10-12-2017, 03:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
The moon is closer, and it has water, but I don't know how they'd keep people living there for long periods of time without dramatic health problems resulting from the low gravity, and water on the moon would probably be a lot less easily accessible than water on Mars.

Mars has gravity that's about a third of Earth's, which might also cause health problems, but that's a lot more than on the moon and I've never heard anything about Mars' low gravity being low enough to be life threatening.

I'd seriously consider going strait from Earth to Mars and skipping the moon until we invent some kind of spinning space station that can generate respectable levels of gravity. If we do that, it could orbit around the moon and be a lot safer than orbiting around Earth with all it's celestial debris...I'd suspect, and then that would seem like the better deal. I'm not sure how much of a danger that celestial debris is though. Maybe they could just take the space station far enough out into Earth's orbit that debris wouldn't be a problem anymore...or not.

The moon would be closer...but then again, if there's a leak that they need to fix immediately, it would seem like it'd be more dangerous on the moon than Mars. The astronauts would be able to move less efficiently. The moon has much more extreme temperatures than Mars too. Mars also has a day/night cycle more similar to Earth's which would be more psychologically healthy:
http://education2.marssociety.org/ma...moon-issue-19/

The only benefit to going to the moon first I'd see would be that if enough things go wrong that the astronauts can't fix the problems themselves, they're not necessarily totally screwed, but that'd be pretty expensive and difficult to send in help anyway and Mars does have a few more resources the moon lacks that could make it more likely for the colonists to fix problems themselves.
Agreed, I too have never heard anything about Mars' low gravity being a major problem. I haven't heard about such problems related to the Moon either. But to be fair, we've never had any long-term missions to the Moon. But I agree with your point. However, we have had astronauts on the ISS for a fairly long endurance mission in near zero-gravity conditions, seemingly with no life threatening health effects. I agree with your point that if health issues related to low-gravity are going to be an issue, it would likely occur in less time on the Moon. But I also think that long-term missions to either Mars or the Moon would require regular exercising to help offset or reduce the effects of low gravity. The fact is that we don't exactly know what kind of problems might be incurred from long-term missions to Mars or the Moon.
https://www.universetoday.com/14859/gravity-on-mars/

I also agree that if mechanical problems occur on the Moon, it would be expensive to fix, even though the Moon is closer. But it would be even more expensive to fix on Mars considering the distance. What resources does Mars have than is lacking on the Moon?

Getting usable water on Mars would not likely be an easy task. It's like that any subsurface water on Mars would probably be loaded with corrosive salts preventing it from completely freezing. That would require a hefty filtration system to purify it for consumption or to water plants. The surface is toxic with perchlorates. That would be rather difficult to use as potting or greenhouse soil.
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart...ria-180963966/

Currently, the rovers are prevented from going anywhere near any of the locations called "recurring slope lineae", which appear to be caused by liquid water seasonally bursting from the walls of certain craters and creating gullies down the slopes. The idea being that if there is any microbial life in the area, it is to remain uncontaminated by Earthly microbes. If people are sent to Mars for long missions, they're going to need water, regardless of whether or not there are any microbes.
https://www.sciencealert.com/here-s-...t-liquid-water
Mars contamination fear could divert Curiosity rover : Nature News & Comment

Obviously, Mars and the Moon are very different. Regardless, neither one would be a walk in the park. A lot of working systems would have to be in place for people on Mars. To go to Mars for a long-term mission would require all systems to be working and reasonable free from potential failure. It would be highly experimental. Just landing on the surface of Mars would be a gigantic challenge, not to mention lifting off to return to Earth. As I understand it, NASA's plan for Mars is to just orbit the planet with a first manned mission. Then the next mission would be to land on Phobos. Eventually, a mission will put boot prints on the surface of Mars.

Because of numerous issues and challenges involving safety for the crew and fail-safe testing for the systems, going to the Moon would be more sensible to test experimental systems and work out the bugs to be sure they'd be suitable for an eventual mission to Mars. There would be a lot of benefits in going to the Moon first. I'd say let the bots do the prep work on Mars first and in the meantime work out the habitats and survival systems on the Moon. And either destination should be an international venture.

In thinking back on history, the Apollo 1 spacecraft burned up on the launch pad, killing all 3 astronauts aboard. There was a lot of pressure by the government to beat the Soviets and be first to land people on the Moon. We ultimately did get people on the surface, and the Soviets never did send anyone there. If anything disastrous occurred on a first landing Mission on Mars, it would probably set back any potential future missions for a long time. After 2 space shuttle disasters, NASA suspended fights for 2 years, before resuming again. Ultimately, the space shuttle program ended with the last fight, the Atlantis, in 2011. Now we have astronauts hitching rides to the ISS with the Russians. Presumably soon, we'll use rockets once again to launch astronauts into space.
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Old 10-12-2017, 05:58 PM
 
Location: Missouri, USA
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makes sense ^
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Old 10-15-2017, 05:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightBazaar View Post
There would be a lot of benefits in going to the Moon first.
I think the logical place to start building a station that has 500 inhabitants would be orbiting the Moon, and not on the surface.

Let's face it, within a few years someone will die from something in a space station. But given an orbital space station with visits from earth every few weeks means that death can be delayed for a long time.
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Old 10-15-2017, 01:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PacoMartin View Post
I think the logical place to start building a station that has 500 inhabitants would be orbiting the Moon, and not on the surface.

Let's face it, within a few years someone will die from something in a space station. But given an orbital space station with visits from earth every few weeks means that death can be delayed for a long time.
Paco, that sounds like a great idea, but to accommodate 500 people would require a very large space station Think of the size of torus space station in the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey". It would take a very long time and a mind-numbing expense to construct such a large space station. All the materials would have to be sent there from Earth, and each launch would be able to carry only so much at a time. It would mean a huge number of spacecrafts over a long period of time just to deliver the materials to build such a space station. People will still need to go to the surface of the Moon for resources such as frozen water at the lunar poles, and that's going to take fuel for manned lunar landers to get to the surface from a Lunar Space Station. Anyone working on the lunar surface is going to need shelter, food, water, and so on.

For a comparison, it was nearly 20 years ago (Nov 20, 1998) that construction on the ISS began. It's expected to be decommissioned in 2028. There is a proposed Lunar Space Station to be a joint venture of the US and Russia. I'm sure other countries will be involved as well. But I don't think it would be as large or larger than the ISS. The ISS holds up to 10 people, but only 2 or 3 are permanently manned there. The others come and go. The maximum physical capacity is 10 people. The ISS doesn't have much space inside. Most of it is occupied with equipment. I would suspect a Lunar Space Station would be equally crowded with equipment. The proposed Lunar Space Station is likely to be smaller than the ISS and hold a crew of 4 people. In effect, this space station would be more of a stopover on the way to the lunar surface.
https://www.sciencealert.com/this-is...24-or-beyond-2
https://www.nasa.gov/missions/highli...12/iss-qa.html
Habitation module of cis-lunar station
A First Look at NASA's Future Space Station Around the Moon
This is what the new lunar space station will look like | WIRED UK
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Old 10-15-2017, 01:27 PM
 
Location: NE Mississippi
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We're not going to settle either one.

We will never go to mars. There probably will never be another visit to the moon. The 2 pioneering countries have spent themselves to death.
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Old 10-15-2017, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Listener2307 View Post
We're not going to settle either one.

We will never go to mars. There probably will never be another visit to the moon. The 2 pioneering countries have spent themselves to death.
Ten years ago, I would have agreed. I was totally bummed at the end of Apollo 17, and figured that it was entirely possible that it was the end of meaningful manned space exploration.

I voted for moon first, for a reason most might not expect - the the radio distance is short enough that preliminary Earth controlled robotics can do much of the prep work before humans arrive.

Science fiction had the basics figured out in the 1940s. Any base really needs to be underground to protect from the various hazards and create an environment not subject to extreme thermal expansion and contraction. As such, we already have much of the basic technology - the massive tunnel borers that were used to create the Chunnel, as well as other tunneling projects in extreme conditions. For large spaces, there is one of the few legitimate purposes of hydrogen bombs. Use of them to create caverns was proven viable in the 1950s, with minimal residual radiation compared to the early nuclear bombs. What radioactive material that is left is in the detritus on the floor and could be robotically removed.

The gravity and human limitations issue can be resolved with small centrifugal sleeping, exercising, and eating quarters. We've made merry-go-rounds for a while now. That concept would have the side benefit of retaining a low grav work environment, where people would essentially be superhuman in strength.

Key to the whole project is robotic mining and steel-making, as well as some sort of directed lava creation to substitute for concrete as a sealer and construction material.

I envision a half dozen large underground dome chambers created by hydrogen bombs, and then a few layers of 100' diameter spiraling tunnels surrounding them, with each tunnel having periodic bulkheads in case of breach. The first installations would be near the poles, to allow short cable runs to solar facilities arranged around the pole in quadrants, so that two are always powered and the other two in darkness for repair or other work. The tunnel borers would simply continue to bore larger spirals to continue a smooth increase in the size and capabilities of the base.
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