Safety Can’t Come First if We Want To Put Humans on Mars
It is true that today, going from a base in low Earth orbit directly to the Martian surface is a step too far. Visits to Martian orbit, and to Phobos and Deimos, should be done first, to practice interplanetary flight without the added complication (and mass) of getting to the Martian surface — and because it will cost a lot less. Likewise, a lunar base is highly desirable to practice living off the land on a regolith-dominated surface while still relatively close to home. We also need to experiment with precommercial trade in raw materials, like delivering lunar water to the International Space Station and applications satellites: In the long term, only trade can pay for exploration.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: spacenews.com