Why are we trying to colonize Mars before Moon?

Why we are spending billions of dollars to get to Mars which is considerably more complex, expensive, and dangerous than creating a colony on Moon? It is not just about a country. No-one hasn't done it or even have plans to do it in the future. So, there must be some logical reason why we are colonizing Mars instead of the Moon. Let's find the answer and go deeper.


One reason for not colonizing the Moon is that it is not a planet, therefore it would never be a place to sustain human life. This means a Moon colony would be totally dependent upon Earth inhabitants for continued human life support.

Reasons to Colonize Mars instead of the Moon

  • Less rocket fuel needed to land due to the atmosphere being thick enough to aerobrake.
  • It has an atmosphere that can be used to produce Oxygen and rocket fuel to return home.
  • Has much more ice in the soil over much more of the surface.
  • Lower levels of cosmic and solar radiation.
  • 24.5 hour day matches the human circadian rhythm (lunar days are 709 hours).
  • Soil is much better for growing plants.
  • Dust is weathered by the atmosphere making it smooth like on Earth. Lunar dust is razor-sharp and abrasive.
  • Surface gravity is closer to Earth’s gravity - almost certainly physiologically less damaging.
  • Much more stable surface temperature - the Moon varies between +100c and -180c daily while warmer areas on Mars vary between around +20c and -80c on a seasonal basis.
  • All resources needed for eventual complete self-sufficiency of a large settlement are available.
  • Long term it is theoretically possible to terraform Mars and give it oceans within a few centuries and a breathable atmosphere within a few millennia. The Moon is too small to hold an atmosphere.

These reasons support the colonization of Mars instead of the Moon. But there are several other reasons which support the colonization of the moon.
  • Physical proximity makes communication easier - all signals are delayed several minutes between Earth and Mars due to the distance; for the Moon, it’s only 1.3 seconds.
  • Shorter travel time - days instead of months.
  • The lower minimum cost for an initial manned visit.

The End Notes

For practice missions moon is a better and suitable target. It would also be a better target for private space tourist resorts given the much shorter travel time. However, for trying to build an independent permanent colony Mars is clearly the only logical choice. That's all in this article. I hope you liked it. Please share your thoughts in the comment section below. Cheers!
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2 Comments

  1. It is possible to build a space elevator on the moon using existing materials (no need for nanotubes and no atmosphere to complicate tings). An elevator means, you could easily transfer materials (water), form either low earth orbit or near earth objects (asteroids, comets) to the moon surface, using very efficient electric propulsion (ion thrusters).
    Since you need radiation shielding on both mars and the moon, it´s just a question how thick you make it (using local material).
    Terraforming mars, so you get a breathable atmosphere, is going to take thousands of years and the construction of an artificial magnetic field, meaning colonists will anyway have to live in an artificial environment, which can be set to a 24 hour day.
    Since there have been no sample return missions from mars, we know very little about Martian soil and its quality to support farming. We know for a fact, that we can turn moon soil viable for farming (the Apollo program brought back samples).
    Both mars and the moon have a lower gravity than earth, second generation colonist visiting earth, will have a hard time (probably impossible) adjusting to earth gravity, for visiting. With easy access to space (elevator), it would be possible to build a space station with artificial gravity (spinning torus), so people living on the moon could spent time on a regular basis, experiencing earth gravity.
    Using mainly robotic equipment for building a settlement is much easier on the moon, do to only 1.3 seconds lag time for operators from earth.
    Being closer to the sun and having no atmosphere, means for the moon, that solar panels would be more efficient, at least if you place them where the sun is always shining.

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    1. Wow. I would like to post your comment as a new post in TheNotes ☺️

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