The best case for an initial Lunar colony is to study the effects of persistent low gravity on biology. (Moon is about 1/6 Earth, Mars is a little over 1/3g)
After 50+ years in space, we only know the effects of micro-gravity (inaccurately called zero-g) concurrent with exercise, drugs, etc. Moon-G might be enough to stabilize body fluids in near-normal proportions, better-enable eating, digestion and waste elimination, and minimize bone loss, and possibly normalize procreation.
Basically, because we’ve never spent any substantial time in any sort of low-G environment, this is one of the biggest scientific blind spots regarding human colonization of other planetary bodies.
Current ideas on physical degradation of colonists and physiological limitations resulting in progeny are all just informed theory and speculation. Without a Lunar low-G long-term test lab, everything we believe might as well be science fiction.
~ Mike Honig, 18-June-2017
ByOn 6/15/17 at 8:17 AM [NEWSWEEK]
Elon Musk has revealed his vision for what a SpaceX city on Mars would look like, saying he wants people to believe setting up a colony on the Red Planet will be possible within our lifetimes.
The founder of SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corporation) has discussed the possibility of creating a human settlement on Mars for several years. The company is currently planning to send a robotic mission to Mars by 2024, and says that manned missions could begin as early as 2024—long before NASA’s projected timescale of the early 2030s.
In a commentary piece published in the journal New Space, Musk outlines how he plans to build a city on the planet and what the next steps in space exploration could be.