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[–] Caboose_Calloway 10 points -8 points (+2|-10) ago 

Returning to the Moon to do what exactly? Going to Mars to do what exactly? Until these two questions are cleared I don't see anybody going anywhere.

And no, TV broadcast rights or a few feel-good news in the blog press are not enough reason to go there. We have distant dreams of colonizing the solar system and spreading life to other planets. What we lack is a definite plan of how to bridge our current situation to that distant future.

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[–] 1328050? 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago  (edited ago)

A human scientist onsite is infinitely more adaptable than a robot controlled from a distance. Sometimes you don't know what you're going to get immediately out of an exploration trip, but going back to the moon is the first step to a permanent presence. A permanent presence is the first step to the rest of the solar system.

http://www.universetoday.com/61256/astronaut-explains-why-we-should-return-to-the-moon/

http://lunar.xprize.org/blog/benefits-going-back-moon

edit for spacing

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[–] Caboose_Calloway 5 points -4 points (+1|-5) ago 

Permanent presence. Very good. But permanent presence to do what exactly? This question remains unanswered and whatever the answer may be a permanent settlement on the moon must be self sustaining both economically and life support wise.

Mir was not sustainable in the long run and was abandoned after a while. ISS is also not sustainable and it too shall be abandoned in a few years. Nobody can afford a Moon base that will be abandoned in a few years. Ways must be found to sustain that base indefinitely otherwise such base will never be built. We must resolve the entire ISRU bootstrapping problem in order to do that and we are not even close. We are not even researching it properly, not even here on Earth.

It is easy to see why this is not being researched. The solution of the bootstrapping problem, whatever it might be, will render our entire capitalist economy irrelevant. All the more reason to push for it, unfortunately people do not know that and can't be arsed to care.

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[–] 1328878? 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

Mining Hellium-3, which is where we are getting hellium for MRI machines and scientific purposes in the future.

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[–] eyeballfrog 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Helium-3 will also be very important if D-3He fusion ever gets off the ground. It's harder to get going than the current work in D-T fusion, but it should be easier to sustain since there's not a massive energy leak in the form of neutrons.

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[–] HexTq 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

To have fun. To see how much we progressed. But to have fun, and post silly moongrav pics to instagram