Originally Posted by GingerJohn
Very different challenges though:
Atmosphere vs (essentially) no atmosphere
0.38G vs 0.16G
Wind vs no wind
Temperature vs no temperature
Ultimately setting up a habitat on the surface of the moon wouldn't tell us that much more about going to Mars than could be learned on the ISS - which is even closer and even cheaper.
That is a good point, we could use the ISS as a test-bed but I would assume that would not only use more resources, being a satalite of Earth but also kinda cheating when it's already built
Luna colony could be started and built like they would on Mars, city planning, population control etc: I just think it's stupid doing it 9 months away insted of ...3 days I think the apollo missions took . I wouldn't be much different than the ISS but it would at least get us started not to mention give use more room than the ISS, Might not tell use much about maintaining in the atmosphere of Mars but it'd give use more insight into Zero-G engineering which we could use to construct a shipyard, in turn would help us get to Mars.
I just can't help but feel this is another attempt at a "Moon landing" race, vast amount of resources and time spent jumping the gun to make NASA seem like it's worth the budget ( Which we all know isn't much to start with sadly ) Instead of stepping stones we're leap-frogging steps all in the name of "Me first".