View Poll Results: Mars or The Moon which should be the first settlement?

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  • Mars

    10 12.99%
  • The Moon

    67 87.01%
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  1. #41
    The Insane PC2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Queen of Hamsters View Post
    Neither, save the planet we already inhabit first.
    Is your argument based on the idea that we shouldn't spend our time and resources on scifi endeavors because we have bigger real-world problems in the here and now?

    I get your argument but at the same time the world spends trillions of dollars on art production and consumption which also falls under the same category in terms of opportunity cost and not having practical value.
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  2. #42
    Merely a Setback Queen of Hamsters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PC2 View Post
    Is your argument based on the idea that we shouldn't spend our time and resources on scifi endeavors because we have bigger real-world problems in the here and now?

    I get your argument but at the same time the world spends trillions of dollars on art production and consumption which also falls under the same category in terms of opportunity cost and not having practical value.
    Well, no. It's hyperbolical, obviously.

    But it's pretty clear that we're already struggling with priorities. We have people still dying to starvation or lack of healthcare, add to that climate change and we're in for some pretty horrid years ahead.

    As long as it's done alongside real, tangible changes meant to save the planet we already have, I'm all for it. Perhaps the space colonization will be the first time in the history where we won't see wars over new resources and it'll be considered a global practice rather than one carried out by X country laying claim to everything.

    After Endus' post however, I'd still say neither Mars nor the Moon as a first outpost.
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  3. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Amadeus View Post
    https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/eh...apb-320-80.jpg
    The Moon or Mars which should be the first settlement all things being equal?

    Personally I’d go with the moon. Easier to get to so easier to send supplies until they become sustainable.
    Neither how about we fix the settlements we have on earth first before we cluster fuck the moon.
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  4. #44
    I Don't Work Here Endus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unholyground View Post
    I was reading about it when there were talks about a moon base and pretty much unanimously they said it would have to be under the surface a few meters, if I find the info I will post it. Basically it is better to prevent the possibility altogether of impact related damage and going under the surface is the only way to guarantee it.
    Impact damage is vanishingly unlikely. Fresh impacts rarely happen.

    Solar radiation is the bigger issue, with pretty much anything in the inner solar system. We're spoiled by the Earth's magnetic field. This is why astronauts generally have a limited amount of time they can effectively spend in space, over their careers; that radiation damage builds up and even with our current systems, it's not sufficient shielding for long-term health.

  5. #45
    I am Murloc! Logwyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Endus View Post
    Impact damage is vanishingly unlikely. Fresh impacts rarely happen.

    Solar radiation is the bigger issue, with pretty much anything in the inner solar system. We're spoiled by the Earth's magnetic field. This is why astronauts generally have a limited amount of time they can effectively spend in space, over their careers; that radiation damage builds up and even with our current systems, it's not sufficient shielding for long-term health.
    If this article is right about Mars. If you shield the spacecraft on the way and then bury the habit at least 5 meters and have the people there spend only 3 hours every 3 days. It will take 60 years for one of them to reach their career limit.

    I would also say that they shouldn't take any bananas with them either.

  6. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by Endus View Post
    Impact damage is vanishingly unlikely. Fresh impacts rarely happen.

    Solar radiation is the bigger issue, with pretty much anything in the inner solar system. We're spoiled by the Earth's magnetic field. This is why astronauts generally have a limited amount of time they can effectively spend in space, over their careers; that radiation damage builds up and even with our current systems, it's not sufficient shielding for long-term health.
    Yep it is scary, it will permanently damage your DNA over time. Ya radiation definitely is more of a concern for sure.
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  7. #47
    Every detailed plan I ever read regarding going to Mars always insisted a moon base was mandatory. As a staging point if nothing else.

  8. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by Endus View Post
    I'm gonna disagree with everyone saying "the moon". It's down a gravity well, and as far as we know, it's fairly resource-light. What real reason do we have for a significant permanent settlement other than scientific outposts?
    The moon is not resource light. It is poor in carbon and nitrogen but rich in oxygen and metals, particularly iron, magnesium, manganese, aluminium and titanium. It also has significant water at the poles.

    So you have water and oxygen, both vital for actually living, plus all the materials you ned for manufacturing. You build your ships and refine the fuel on the moon and then launch from their as it is much, much cheaper than on earth. If you set up stations in space you'd still need to ship all the stuff needed there from somewhere and it is better doing it from the moon than from earth.

    Heck, you could automate most of the processes on the moon if you really wanted to cut down on the need for people there.

  9. #49
    I Don't Work Here Endus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corvus View Post
    The moon is not resource light. It is poor in carbon and nitrogen but rich in oxygen and metals, particularly iron, magnesium, manganese, aluminium and titanium. It also has significant water at the poles.

    So you have water and oxygen, both vital for actually living, plus all the materials you ned for manufacturing. You build your ships and refine the fuel on the moon and then launch from their as it is much, much cheaper than on earth. If you set up stations in space you'd still need to ship all the stuff needed there from somewhere and it is better doing it from the moon than from earth.

    Heck, you could automate most of the processes on the moon if you really wanted to cut down on the need for people there.
    You're making that comparison to lifting material from Earth, but I made the point that asteroid mining is way, way cheaper, once the resources are in place to do it.

    We have the technology to achieve this right now, actually. It just costs tens of billions with a turnaround time of decades before it's going to be productive, let alone making up that initial cost.

  10. #50
    The Unstoppable Force PACOX's Avatar
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    To get either you need a super-heavy vehicle to get there.

    The Saturn V is still the largest successful launch vehicle, and that was just to essentially touch down on the moon and get back. Far from a perfect vehicle and probably wouldn't pass certification today.

    Point being the vehicle that gets to the Moon will be the same size if not larger (which basically the case with the SLS and SpaceX Spaceship), which a lot of the size being dedicated just carry the fuel to get the thing off the ground.

    If we're already building these behemoths just to get humans to the Moon could you imagine how large a human-rated rocket going straight to Mars would have to be? One thats carrying a shielded module capable of protecting the astronauts throughout the journey, all the necessary supplies, equipment, fuel to get there and back plus redundancy? Remember in Interstellar where they were trying to figure out a way to defeat the limitations of gravity? Thats what we're facing.

    So the better route for a Mars trip would be to assemble in space instead of trying to launch one massive piece at a time. A lot easier to launch segments into orbit one piece at a time than all at once. And if you're going to do that you're going to want an outpost in outer space as a staging point. Thats where something like the Lunar Gateway comes in, and why a Moon outpost comes way before a Mars one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lilithvia View Post
    You're right, it's in a even more dangerous position and is endangered by even more space debris than what is found around the moon, and is high enough to be endangered by meteors, plus whatever micro comets and such are also up there.
    The ISS isn't exactly in a dangerous position though. Its in a very controlled orbit where potential dangers are mostly known/tracked on top of the ISS being able to shift its orbit if necessary. The risk of something hitting the ISS is minimal. Either way, the ISS is relatively small and still shielded for stray uncontrollable impacts.

    Just hypothetically speaking, a Moon settlement would lack the advantage of a controlled orbit like the ISS. Its harder to track objects about the hit the Moon versus objects that intersect with the path of the ISS. The Moon is a straight-up garbage collector while ISS while the ISS is still within Earth's atmosphere, the Earth is constantly slowing down and clearing anything that might cross the path of the ISS. The Moon has no such atmosphere, anything hitting it is going to slow down, its hitting at max velocity, max integrity until it hits the surface of the Moon. I rather take my chances on the ISS.

    With that said though, the chances of something randomly hitting either is very small. We're talking small moving objects in the vastness of space randomly hitting another small moving AND spinning object in the vastness of space. You sort of just take your chances.

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    Quote Originally Posted by XDurionX View Post
    We'll be long dead before we'll be able to sustain a settlement on another celestial body. Really doesn't matter.
    If we can sustain an outpost in Antarctica and the ISS we can sustain one on the Moon. The challenges are money and logistics. The real question is why? What are we getting out of it? Theres nothing to really gain from a permanent outpost right that would place a dent in costs. Not even scientific merit.

  11. #51
    The Insane Masark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PACOX View Post
    So the better route for a Mars trip would be to assemble in space instead of trying to launch one massive piece at a time. A lot easier to launch segments into orbit one piece at a time than all at once. And if you're going to do that you're going to want an outpost in outer space as a staging point. Thats where something like the Lunar Gateway comes in, and why a Moon outpost comes way before a Mars one.
    If we intend to be serious about Mars rather than just doing a one-time plant-a-flag mission, we want a cycler. Or preferably, at least two of them.

    Warning : Above post may contain snark and/or sarcasm. Try reparsing with the /s argument before replying.
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  12. #52
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    I would go with a permanent spaceport-style base at a lagrange point first, but for a ground based 'base' off of earth, I'd pick Ceres as the first location. There's practical reasons to have a base there if we're planning on spreading out across the solar system, and would be a very useful jumping off point to Mars. Neither of which you can say about the Moon.

  13. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by PACOX View Post

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    If we can sustain an outpost in Antarctica and the ISS we can sustain one on the Moon. The challenges are money and logistics. The real question is why? What are we getting out of it? Theres nothing to really gain from a permanent outpost right that would place a dent in costs. Not even scientific merit.
    Sustaining the ISS is hard, but still a lot easier than sustaining a "colony" on the moon. The ISS is easy mode. Regularly landing and starting supply flights on the moon is a whole different beast nad yields no merit whatsoever.

  14. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by Soulwind View Post
    And then inhabitable again shortly after.
    Oh you're soo smart with your nihilistic worldview, please tell me more while typing at your computer with all the luxuries you have.

    Self-hate doesn't get you anywhere.

  15. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by Daronokk View Post
    Oh you're soo smart with your nihilistic worldview, please tell me more while typing at your computer with all the luxuries you have.

    Self-hate doesn't get you anywhere.
    Ignoring the damage around you doesn't get you anywhere either. Leaving Earth because fixing the problems that we've caused would be harder isn't sustainable. Eventually we'd run out of planets to parasite, or some other species would put us in our place.

    I'm all for space exploration, but it's not an excuse to embrace the worst of ourselves.

  16. #56
    I am Murloc! Thekri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Endus View Post
    I'm gonna disagree with everyone saying "the moon". It's down a gravity well, and as far as we know, it's fairly resource-light. What real reason do we have for a significant permanent settlement other than scientific outposts?

    Instead, pick either the L4 or L5 Lagrange point for the Earth-Moon system, and build a significant space station there. You can set the "gravity" to a more convenient level by adjusting rotation speed. You have the same challenges of building it to survive vacuum. The technological and material requirements really aren't any higher than a moon base. It's just as far from the Earth as the Moon (same orbit, in fact, just ahead or behind). And there's no gravity to deal with on approach or departure; it isn't at the bottom of a gravity well, even a relatively shallow one like the moon. That vastly reduces the fuel requirements to dock and depart, making travel to and from a lot cheaper (and, generally, safer; losing thrust means you drift, not crash in to the surface).

    Obviously, even less local resources than the Moon, but that's an issue we'd be addressing with the moonbase, too, and there's solutions like orbital mining operations. In theory, you could stick the main transit hub base in the Earth-moon L4, and an orbital mining facility in the L5; transferring materials from L5 to L4 would be super cheap; you're paying for speed of delivery and that's about it. If you determine that you can handle a several month or even a year's delay, it wouldn't cost much at all, and that's just for the commencement of delivery, or for any changes in content; a regular resource supply run can arrive however often is convenient, it's just a matter of how many additional deliveries are en route at a time.

    I don't think a Mars base as a first concrete settlement is a great idea. Too far, too much can go wrong. But the Moon has little to offer.
    Well the primary argument for a surface moon base is really "Practice". It isn't really practical in any way, it doesn't work well as a staging area for other places, but it is a fantastic place to just practice sustaining a base that isn't orbital and isn't terrestrial. This is a valuable exercise, since a lot of the major technologies needed to make this happen are going to be transferable (Oxygen, water, food, power, etc). This is the argument against all the people saying "Focus on our planet" as well. The fact is that Space Programs tend to pay huge technological dividends for this planet as well. For instance, a food manufacturing technology that is often hypothezied for such situations is growing only the edible parts of a plant/animal. So to expand the limited resources on the moon, we could focus technologies like just growing the grain part of wheat, or chicken breasts from stem cells, without the whole animal.

    The moon (Or any space colony) creates a set up problems that are not unique to that body, but are more extreme, and thus have to be solved. If you can set up a colony that can thrive with extreme resource scarcity there, we can use those same technologies to use less resources here. That is the huge benefit of space exploration, and that is why a moon colony would still be valuable. This isn't to say LaGrange point stations wouldn't also be valuable, we could do both, or prioritize one or the other.
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  17. #57
    why bother settling, just build ships. planets moons and stars are resource nodes, not homes

  18. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryzael View Post
    why bother settling, just build ships. planets moons and stars are resource nodes, not homes
    Anyone who grows up in space will be unable to set foot on a planet like Earth. Gravity defines the human body in many ways.

  19. #59
    Merely a Setback cubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Endus View Post
    Impact damage is vanishingly unlikely. Fresh impacts rarely happen.

    Solar radiation is the bigger issue, with pretty much anything in the inner solar system. We're spoiled by the Earth's magnetic field. This is why astronauts generally have a limited amount of time they can effectively spend in space, over their careers; that radiation damage builds up and even with our current systems, it's not sufficient shielding for long-term health.
    I'm going to need an upfront promise of people not laughing too hard here, as I love science but may not be the best student of it. Anywho, here goes:

    Could a space station and/or lunar base use a combination of lead windows (they are clear) and solar panels windows (leaded windows outside, with solar panel "affixed" on the inside) as a combination radiation protection and energy producer?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Endus View Post
    You're making that comparison to lifting material from Earth, but I made the point that asteroid mining is way, way cheaper, once the resources are in place to do it.

    We have the technology to achieve this right now, actually. It just costs tens of billions with a turnaround time of decades before it's going to be productive, let alone making up that initial cost.
    I think you might be under-assuming how difficult and costly it is to get an asteroid into a specific position/orbit. And we're not even at the point of getting all the material (100% of which will have to be launched from Earth) to build a space station big enough to process the materials from said asteroid. And that doesn't even account for the dice roll that comes with asteroids - we won't know what materials are on it until we can get it closer (not in stable orbit) to analyze.

    With the moon, we know resources are there, and even more importantly, where. We can build a base close to water (and therefore oxygen and rocket fuel), and we know there are basic materials along with exotics for building larger bases, resource mining, and possibly down the road, actual revenue generation. At the very least, almost-self-sustaining bases could be completed with resources on hand.

    I believe I understand you point regarding the L4/L5 space station (I've read Seveneves a number of times, and I can almost spell orbital mechanics now) but it seems like it would take an enormous amount of resources for what would amount to a cosmic crap shoot. And don't misunderstand, asteroid mining is entirely the future of space exploration (resources, fuel, building materials, water, etc), but as a start, I think something guaranteed would be a better beginning.

  20. #60
    I am Murloc! Thekri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubby View Post
    I'm going to need an upfront promise of people not laughing too hard here, as I love science but may not be the best student of it. Anywho, here goes:

    Could a space station and/or lunar base use a combination of lead windows (they are clear) and solar panels windows (leaded windows outside, with solar panel "affixed" on the inside) as a combination radiation protection and energy producer?
    Short answer: Yes. They actually do that.

    Long answer: Sort of. "Radiation" is not a single thing, and lead doesn't magically stop it, nor do solar panels interact with a lot of it. So while a lot of different shielding techniques are used, the mix that gets through and hits the human body is going to be very different then the mix that hits your skin here on Earth (Which is dangerous and harmful already, you are always getting blasted with damaging radiation walking around here). Without any form of shielding, you would shrivel up and die in seconds. With better shielding, you can be ok for a long period of time, but it will be... different then on earth. It is really hard to replicate the effect of the massive amounts of radiation shielding that earth naturally has (Which as mentioned, still doesn't stop all of it, hence sunburns and skin cancer).
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