Tom Plunkett
Tom Plunkett

Forget the moon: Mars or bust!

Illustration for article titled Forget the moon: Mars or bust!

Wouldn't the Moon, so much nearer than Mars, be a better first step? Actually, no – it's just too different. It's better to test hardware and train people in analogs on Earth, such as the geologically similar high-altitude desert in Utah or the cold and dry Canadian Arctic desert. Why the European Space Agency has declared the Moon a stepping-stone to Mars is beyond me, as doing so increases the cost of a Mars programme hugely.


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