Why is there no talk (that I hear) of starting colonies on the moon? The main drawback I see to the moon is the lower gravity (~one sixth of earth vs ~one third on Mars), but that could be addressed with, say, daily centripetal force sessions. I don't have a problem with going to Mars eventually, just think we could work out a lot of bugs in this venture by starting significantly closer to home.

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    $\begingroup$ I'm just gonna leave this here... moonwards.com :) $\endgroup$ – duzzy Dec 19 '16 at 6:46
  • $\begingroup$ We could work out a lot of bugs by building something in Antarctica. Oh, wait. (Note that the cost of getting to Mars, delta-v-wise, is pretty similar to that of getting to the Moon. What differs is the travel time.) $\endgroup$ – a CVn Dec 19 '16 at 10:59
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    $\begingroup$ @Erich Um, have you researched this even a tiny bit? $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Dec 19 '16 at 16:13
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelKjörling -- The cost of returning from the Moon is much, much less than is the cost of returning from Mars. The cost of a one-way trip is not a good metric. $\endgroup$ – David Hammen Dec 20 '16 at 3:02

The thin atmosphere of Mars and the 24 hour day both give a substantial benefit to Mars. The atmosphere of Mars allows for ease of getting oxygen and carbon dioxide, both of which are quite essential. The atmosphere allows it to block micro-meteors, and some radiation protection. It also allows for less pressure requirements to be placed on it, allowing for transparent materials to be used. That allows for growing plants much easier than it would be with an opaque dome.

It has the near 24 hour day, which makes things quite a bit easier to survive, from solar power to plants, it is preferred.

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  • $\begingroup$ I am not sure about the claim "Iron, in particular, is quite rare", It should be about the same as Earth news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/01/070111-moon-core.html $\endgroup$ – James Jenkins Dec 19 '16 at 18:32
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    $\begingroup$ I've removed the last statement. I might add it in again sometime, but only after I can get my story straight on it... $\endgroup$ – PearsonArtPhoto Dec 19 '16 at 18:59
  • $\begingroup$ There are a lot of advantages with regard to focusing on the Moon first rather than Mars. First and foremost is the much shorter time needed to return an injured or ill colonist to Earth. Another is communications. Yet another is cost. $\endgroup$ – David Hammen Dec 20 '16 at 3:01

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