Space Non-Profit Forums There Is Another Way – Discussion Forum Why Should "Settlement" = Mars?

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    John Cserep

    It is not stated until late in the video and Details page, but it emerges that this whole project equates space settlement with beginning some kind of base on Mars. This is surprising, unconvincing, and likely to generate unhelpful controversy.
    There are certainly some who would fully agree, but I for one have never been convinced by the Mars enthusiasts. Mars is too energy-poor, sits in an expensive gravity well, and hos no apparent raw materials that we cannot gather more easily closer to home from either the Moon or near-Earth asteroids. Mars is certainly NOT the destination “we have all been waiting for.”
    The goal of settlement should be simply to create sustainable, permanent communities beyond the Earth. I have never before seen the Foundation focus particularly on Mars. Nowhere in the vision of ‘There Is Another Way’ do I see any actual settlements! Certainly not the visions of O’Neill. Yet all the makings are there, if we can tear our gaze away from the distraction of Mars.
    L1 and lunar mining are the correct steps beyond LEO. But rather than limit lunar operations to fuel production, the next step should be to use the expanded L1 outpost as a manufacturing site to begin production of construction elements for building ever-larger habitats, right there in the vicinity of the Moon. The L1 outpost should serve as base of operations for tele-operating robotic mining, whose raw material output should flow to L1 for processing into piece-parts. Thus, the L1 outpost serves as: fuel depot, teleoperation site, factory, and then finally construction site for the settlements. Upon completion, each colony would then be moved to its final location elsewhere. Space, settled!
    So why exactly do we need Phobos and Mars again?

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