What are the current estimates for the likelihood for a human to survive one year on a true Moon-base (first) vs a Mars-base (first), and what role are such estimates playing in NASA's decision to recommend which body to colonize first?


closed as primarily opinion-based by Nathan Tuggy, uhoh, DrSheldon, Mark Omo, Jack Nov 26 '18 at 18:58

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  • $\begingroup$ Clarification: Yes, it has already been decided that we will return to manned Lunar orbit before we attempt manned Martian orbit, but I'm asking about "living on the body's surface" here, and not about orbiting bases. $\endgroup$ – Scott Francis Perry Nov 26 '18 at 15:01
  • $\begingroup$ The chance of survival would drive the mission design (in order to reach a desired minimum) and therefore the cost. $\endgroup$ – Nathan Tuggy Nov 26 '18 at 15:20
  • $\begingroup$ I think it works the other way round. You start with the acceptable level of risk which effectively determines the cost of doing anything. Then you see if that gives you an acceptable cost/science+publicity tradeoff for some mission design. $\endgroup$ – Steve Linton Nov 26 '18 at 16:18
  • $\begingroup$ Agreed. With current technology, we can get the chance of survival to 100% on both the Moon and Mars, it's just a matter of budget. And there are no definite plans for either, so no real-life risk assessments we can use to answer this question. $\endgroup$ – Hobbes Nov 26 '18 at 17:05
  • $\begingroup$ The way it's supposed to be (when politicians don't interfere) is that scientific needs drive what missions are going to happen. $\endgroup$ – DrSheldon Nov 26 '18 at 17:29

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