Science February 8, 2018 As SpaceX and Boeing Jockey to Get to Mars, Other Companies Eye Lunar ExplorationWhile many companies have their sights set on Mars, there are others like Blue Origin and Astrobiotic that want to reprioritize lunar exploration.Source: As SpaceX and Boeing Jockey to Get to Mars, Other Companies Eye Lunar ExplorationShare this:WhatsAppTweetEmailRelated Space
I’ve never been able to understand why we’d want anyone to try to create a Mars base before they proved they could make a moon base work. If something goes wrong on the moon, help is only three days away. But on Mars, help may be more than a year away. Yeah, Mars has more local resources to work with, but the first base shouldn’t depend on them if it can possibly help it.
I think there are a few, perhaps valid, reasons.
First, help for the Moon is more than three days away, if our launch prep and related systems continue to operate the way they do now. You can’t just slap supplies into a container and launch, and for various reasons (probably mostly fueling) that I’m not entirely familiar with, you can’t keep a rescue mission on the pad for just in case.
The Moon is old hat. Its been done. No real “firsts” and, therefore, little political enthusiasm, because politicians can’t ride the coattails.
Von Braun’s original plan was space station, Moon colony, Mars, the rest of the solar system. There may be a lingering desire to continue to reject the solid plan of a Nazi rocket scientist.
We can’t really gage the effects of “deep space”, long term travel without doing it, Mars is a cool destination and if we don’t figure this out, there’s no real ability to venture beyond the Earth-Moon system
I strongly suspect that some of the private efforts are focused on real estate, more than they are on space travel.