Settling on the Moon

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Drakkith
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The main problem will be the low gravity. Astronauts/cosmonauts in 0 g for long periods experience bone mass loss, blood loss, and muscle atrophy. A permanent colony would either have to be centrifuged or force everyone to work out in a centrifuge fairly often.
But how bad are those health problems in 1/6th G and not zero G?
 
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I would imagine that loss of bone and similar would still be a problem, just that it would be somewhat less aggressive and so would take longer for it to get to the point of becoming disabling.
 
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Testing that would be one of the scientific goals of a manned base on moon. It is probably a reasonable guess that 1/6 g is better than zero g, so one year should be possible, maybe more. 437 days is the record in zero-g, and we'll have 6 spaceflights of at least one year duration next March.
 
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A staged approach to a Mars landing and then base, with an ion drive to reduce transit time, would make more sense than a lunar settlement. Send an unmanned ascent vehicle so Mars-nauts can get from Mars to orbit, and a habitat with laboratory. Both would start processing Martian atmosphere to make oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, water, single-malt Scotch, all ready for the new Martians. The habitat would stay, even if the first Mars-nauts returned to earth. Oh, take some 3D printers, along with a world library of literature, music, science. Buzz Aldrin outlined a staged approach a few years ago, except he's a whiskey man. :cool:
 

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