[quote] 36,000,000 miles to Mars and more to the other planets. And why are the moons of Jupiter so much more interesting than our own moon (250,000 miles or so away)? <hr></blockquote>
some of the moons around jupiter and saturn are actually still active, and one even has the potential of spawning life.
[quote] '...it didn't mean anything.'? I was 11 on 20 July 1969. It sure in the hell DID mean something. My father and uncles were amazed that we were actually going to land on the moon. The first moon landing was a demarcation between Before We Walked On Other Worlds and our push out into the universe. (grump-harrump!) <hr></blockquote>
my point is that it really doesnt help us now. it was meant to inspire the public and give us hope. and thats exactly what it did. if it wasnt fer that, the moon landing wouldnt have inspired the same feelings if we werent in the same situation as we were during the cold war.
[quote] We can prepare for these missions from a moon base (I personally prefer that it be built at Clavius Crater). <hr></blockquote>
3 words: international space station. first things first my friend.
[quote] Orbital Mechanics haven't changed much since the first probes were sent to Mars in the 1960's. Those same orbital mechanics (all them equations 'n such) will still work today. But if it is so much more damned difficult to get to the planets than it is to get to the Moon, let's just go to the moon. It's right here (comparitively speaking). <hr></blockquote>
because we dont learn as much studying a big rock that used to be a part of the earth. its very similar to our own planet as it is...
on Mars, we basically look into our own future. it is the picture of what the Earth could become in the future. also, there is the possility that it could have sustained life at one point, which will always attract attention from scientists. the moon doesnt offer such a promise...
a trip to a planet outside our orbit takes perfect timing. if u miss by just the slightest degree, u could end up being hurled out to space in a lost trajectory, never to return back to the original intended path. this is why everythings been unmanned so far. the risks are very high. remember the mars mission that burned up in its atmosphere?
besides...the moons been done. we need something new. something unknown. the human species has a love for exploring the unkown, n'est pas?