This is just silly. Aside from building materials, the Moon has absolutely nothing in terms of self-sustainability or scientific value.
Mars has a small percentage of oxygen content for filtering.
Mars has underground pockets of water (which could even contain alien microbial life)
Mars has an Ionosphere to protect from harsh radiation.
A moon-base would just be a more expensive version of the ISS. Fuck that.
>the Moon has absolutely nothing in terms of self-sustainability or scientific value
According to whom? The moon has minerals and metals both precious and rare to mine just like any other body in the solar system. There is literally 'gold in them hills'.
Do you even know what Helium-3 is?
I think the purpose is to establish a beachhead on the moon for future missions from all countries to use as a shelter, a research station, or even a mining warehouse if it comes to that.
Think of it as sort of like the first Antarctic research station, except more international, like the ISS is now. It's a destination but it's also supposed to be a waypoint toward doing other space related things.
>The shipping costs of any of these make it more valuable to get that stuff from Earth.
Not really,.. Getting stuff from Earth to The Moon is expensive and hard, but getting stuff from The Moon to Earth is easy. You barely even need fuel to get back o Earth provided you launch from the right trajectory. The hard part is keeping any astronaut/miners alive and safe for more than a couple of days while they are out there.
We can't successfully test everything we need to do on Mars using the Moon because the conditions are too different, and Mars is easier to survive on temporarily if there's a failure. However, if NASA is already looking at Mars, it makes sense for other agencies to focus on different areas so they can learn more and justify their budgets.
Yeah well 100 years ago that's what people said about the concept of a commercial airline.
I have a feeling that in another 100 years your comment would seem just as short-sighted.
Because people keep saying stupid, short-sighted things like that and then get proven wrong within a decade.
A good example is Bill Gates's famous quote (and I paraphrase): "640k is all the RAM a person would ever need in a PC!"
>A good example is Bill Gates's famous quote (and I paraphrase): "640k is all the RAM a person would ever need in a PC!"
It's Bill Gates. He meant that there is no task that could be done with the current state of PC technology that would take more than 640k, not that technology would never evolve, that would be stupid.