Hidden Nook

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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Moon before Mars

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(Space.com) It puzzles me why anyone would suggest that mankind needs to begin funding for exploration on the Red Planet. Although Mars does hold our attention much longer than the Moon (partially to the fact that we've been to the Moon 12 times as compared with a big "old Easter egg" when it comes to humans) the moon does make a more logical target (especially for a space colony) than our distant Red friend.

The Moon can be reached; the base there can grow incrementally and return benefits -- all in a more conceivable time frame. The most attractive feature of making the Moon the first permanent off-world human outpost is its proximity to Earth. The Moon is close, a couple of days away; Mars is many months farther. That proximity has many advantages. As far less rocket power is required to reach the Moon than is required for Mars, larger payloads can be sent or smaller, more affordable vehicles can be used.

Makes sense to me. Hopefully NASA would agree.

Photo from Space.com

Close proximity means more frequent trips, more people sent, and infrastructure more quickly established. Because of the shorter trip times, a focus on the Moon also is less risky than Mars. There is continuous access to a lunar outpost, whereas Mars is reasonably accessible only once every two years. With unexpected discoveries or dangers, new equipment or scientific instruments can be sent from Earth to the Moon relatively quickly.

The Moon also would probably provide something that Mars could not: visibility. By establishing a colony on the Moon, any child with at telescope would be able to view the Lunar wonder. It might even encourage space tourism as well which might put back the spice in the Space Industry (something NASA and other international space organizations desperately need). That's my two cents for now...now on to other topics...Selah!

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By Darnell Clayton • 4:48 PM • Email Post • •


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