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Moon Base by 2020


Kain
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This annoys me because for the same amount of money they could put a base on mars instead. The moon has nothing of value really, it's still debatable if theres even water there. The delta V of sending a ship to the moon is the SAME as sending a ship to mars. The moon has no atmosphere to mine and whilst it IS closer mars is a much more lucrative goal. IMO

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Well, baby steps. While it isn't technologically difficult to get to Mars, getting back may be a different story. Mars crews would need a vehicle that could land on Mars and then take off and fly back to Earth, without replenishing fuel. We have already done that on the Moon. Besides, the Moon probably has mineral resources that are worthwhile, and could be shot back to Earth via a rail gun, a la The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Try doing that from Mars. Returning anything from Mars would get pretty costly, even if you were able to create fuel out of the thin atmosphere and oxidised minerals in the rocks.

There is a scheme that would have a solar-orbiting space station whose orbit took it past Earth and Mars successively, without further input of fuel, except for minor course corrections. This could be quite large, and colonists, astronauts and shuttles could hitchhike on it, dropping down to Mars or Earth, or returning as necessary. I haven't heard about this idea for a long time, but it appealed to me. You could use the moon as a jumping-off point, or a space station. I think you might want a space station around Mars, too, unless you colonized the slower of the two Martian moons.

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It would be nice to know what the atmosphere of Mars contributes to the mining process Gordon? As far as I am concerned, the fact that there is a manned mission to another solar system body is good enough reason to celebrate... and a Moon base would be a nice staging post.

Arthur

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Theres a few books on the subject, mostly by a guy called Robert Zubrin. As for sending stuff back to earth from the moon being cheaper than mars, it's EXACTLY the same price, just takes a little longer. I appreciate the time is perhaps different when humans are involved as going to mars takes 9months and coming back takes another 9 months. Anything could happen during that time including solar storms, micrometeor hits etc etc

The atmosphere of mars is mostly carbon dioxide... lots of yummy carbon for building things, or discarding in big black mountains of the stuff. The left over stuff is OXYGEN, fairly useful

Mars also has water, in vast quantities, albeit frozen and underneath the surface, however the north polar cap is all water ice I believe, again fairly useful. The moon has none of these things.

Google mars direct, a proposal by robert zubrin for going to mars http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Direct

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