But they don't want to live in a dome. Colonization and expansion is a given on Earth because you can. You basically can't on Mars or the Moon so the reason for being there should be something else, like working and beaming power back to earth, mining, whatever it is.
Show evidence that we can't colonize and expand on the moon and mars.
The Japanese example is a solar space satellite in orbit beaming down power by 2030. For them it doesn't seem impossibly expensive and is just a matter of refining the technology. And you have to weigh the fact that energy costs more for them, since their country has none. A solar space plant is one specific instance, I am looking for more, but I am happy with this one as being the first one, first before any moon base. If it pays off, its enough to drive any future space exploration.
Lets talk about this big picture then, it is simply assumed that we going to colonize Mars and space. I don't understand this assumption at all. Yes, there are plenty of resources out there, but that is about as interesting as beaming energy back to earth because as you say it is expensive to bring it back to earth. But then you might say it doesn't have to come back to earth, it is for space industry, its cheaper than rocketing up resources from earth. But you are missing step 1, this has to be beneficial for earth people before they go up there and make this space industry. Any fledgling space industry will have to rest on a terrestrial economy.
I've heard nothing but skepticism from people with technical savy. Space based solar power isn't profitable. I don't care either way, I've got no pet favorites to defend here. I'm saying exactly what I've heard. Solar power isn't going to do anything for more affordable space access if it's not even profitable. It doesn't have as much growing margin as a lunar pole outpost. You can bury and expand that safely, with just as much insolation, and with lunar resources on tap.
I'll try and link to a few of the unencouraging SBSP analyses later.
I don't get it, why don't you think the public will support a practical use of space that helps save the planet we are on rather than being scared into colonizing Mars because we are all doomed? I wouldn't mind at all a moon based solar power plant, but nobody is talking about that. It wouldn't surprise me if NASA set up the base, then invited the Chinese who build the Solar Power plant to beam back energy. Reminds me of the space station and when the Russians were first with the first space tourist business.
Mischaracterizations in bold. Solar power isn't profitable. Show evidence that it is. Colonizing other worlds isn't motivated by fear anymore than the gold rush was, or that even today, migrating to the USA's vast expanses is motivated by fear.
I underlined what I interpret as a fundamental bias in your POV.
That SBSP is profitable, whereas everything else isn't - Again, show evidence that SBSP is feasible and profitable. The long term goal needs to be planned for today, not later. Long term goal isn't gizmos in LEO, it's getting out of LEO.
Yes, and we've already been on the moon and romped around and we know how to land on both of them and the one very hard thing that we need to learn is how to get to Mars which we won't learn from being on the moon.
That's not what I've read. This is probably the end of this argument if you don't have any supporting evidence other than recalled hear-say, because that's all I've got basically: pro or semi-pro blog and website echoes from the industry, that there's much more to be learned yet than merely "how to get there". And I've already mentioned some examples (e.g. recycling, rad protection, etc) which you ignored, so if you're not going to do your half of the work in this debate, I'm done.
Why should I show any Maths? I don't work for NASA, its NASA that wants to go to the moon, let them show the maths. They haven't, there is no such case anywhere. Therefore how can anyone be so sure it is the moon we should go to?
Because it's a math problem. NASA will have shown the math.. I doubt they'd hide it. The above quote reads like an appeal to ignorance.
You start by saying that X is more affordable and profitable than Y, but then say you don't have the math to back it up. That doesn't add up. The devil is
in the details in rocket and orbital sciences. And those two are the basis for space exploitation and colonization. And will be till we're as comfortably established in space as we are today in metropolitan environments - with infrastructure already in place and readily accessible.
Cheap access to space isn't just going to happen by itself either, private industry will not lift a finger until things are shown to be affordable with a return. Therefore build a Solar Plant, show its possible, then private industry can take over, build several more, make it efficient and maintain the space planes which allow for it all to happen.
1) Show evidence that SBSP is feasible and profitable, and
2) that SBSP is enough of a catalysis to enable everything else that follows; that it isn't too limited in scope, because
The topic here is Moon VS Mars
-- It's asking what govt (with only as much consideration for peripheral but essential factors, like private and military space, as required) should do. "Just" SBSP simply doesn't make sense. It's too short sighted. Everything points to govt space programs best being pioneers, leaving private industry to follow in that wake, to fill the void behind them.