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Moon first, then Mars — a path to Solar System colonization?


Some dates are being discussed in a May 18th 2019 Phys-dot-org article:

“The Moon is the proving ground for our eventual mission to Mars,” NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said at a conference this week.
“The Moon is our path to get to Mars in the fastest, safest way possible. That’s why we go to the Moon.”
According to Robert Howard, who heads up the lab developing future space habitats at the legendary Johnson Space Center in Houston, the hurdles aren’t so much technical or scientific as much as a question of budget and political will.
“A lot of people want us to have an Apollo moment, and have a president stand up like Kennedy and say, we’ve got to do it and the entire country comes together,” he said.
“If that happened, I would actually say 2027. But I don’t think that’s going to happen. I think in our current approach, we are going to be lucky to do it by the 2037 date.”

But Howard said if he were to be pessimistic, and assume political dithering lay ahead, “it could be the 2060s.”

Excessive political polarisation and a habit of ruthless agit-prop may be fatally distracting us from major opportunities and a breakout from the limits of a single planet. That is, deterioration of good order, quality of governance and awareness of possibilities tied to the rise of a focus on the bizarre comes with an opportunity cost that may be dear indeed. As such, it points to a neglected justice issue.

Energy transformation and solar system colonisation could open up the future. But, if we wreck our civilisation through excessive polarisation, we will forgo what might otherwise have been. Do we really understand what a more sustainable alternative might look like?

Perhaps, it is time to open up our horizons:

It is time for a civilisation level change strategy towards a more desirable alternative. END