Wouldn't the Moon be a better place to send people than Mars? If our goal is to really let humans live on a body other than the Earth, why not use transportation that was already worked-out when most retirees were in highschool or college?

It sounds like on Mars, you would have to live underground to stay safe from radiation anyway, as I'd assume you would on the Moon. The atmosphere on Mars is also so thin you may as well be in a vacuum anyway and you would never be able to go outside without a full-on space suit from what I've heard.

Wouldn't a nice underground Moon base be cheaper, easier to build, and safer? You have to bury yourself to protect from radiation, anyway, and with half the gravity the Moon would be easier to do this on. Also, you would be far closer to Earth to either send things back or get help.

It seems that Mars would be more attractive looking and certainly more interesting, but perhaps more difficult and uncomfortable as just building a base in the vacuum anyway.

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    $\begingroup$ You do understand that the radiation background on the moon isn't more friendly than the one on mars right ? $\endgroup$
    – Antzi
    Jul 6, 2016 at 7:43
  • $\begingroup$ If you are going to live underground anyway, then why not go to Mars (where no humans have set foot yet) rather than to the Moon (where we have already sent humans)? $\endgroup$
    – user
    Jul 6, 2016 at 8:09
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    $\begingroup$ @Antzi In all fairness, unless you're willing to make the stay on Mars really short, launch windows will dictate a much longer stay on the Mars surface than anything we had on the Moon during Apollo, plus the transfer is much longer. So the total exposure would be a potentially bigger problem. But this isn't how it happens; all of this is well known, and thoroughly considered. Just like with the Moon, the environment on Mars is hostile, but not unknown. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Jul 6, 2016 at 8:13
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    $\begingroup$ Humans go to Mars in order to find out why they go to Mars. They bother. It is happening. Figure it out if you can! There is a dot in the sky and it will not go away. That is enough of a reason. Could you imagine humans seeing it without going there? I cannot. We need to touch. It is about sex, the cause of our existence. $\endgroup$
    – LocalFluff
    Jul 6, 2016 at 9:18
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    $\begingroup$ @eingrossgeek The V-2 most definitely could not reach the Moon, and I'm not sure I'd call it "giant". See What was the first man-made object to enter space? Maybe you are thinking of the Saturn V, which had the capability to send a payload on a translunar trajectory and which was derived from the V-2 in much the same way that modern smartphones are derived from the Altair 8800? $\endgroup$
    – user
    Jul 7, 2016 at 9:07


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