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Time for humans to start thinking about moving says Hawking

For many years humans have dreamed of one day colonizing other planets and moons.  Although research would be an important reason for the foreign bases, could the survival of the human race depend on whether or not we can colonize other planets?  World-renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking recently said that humans need to colonize a planet or moon because the Earth might face destruction -- A man made disaster -- global warming being a good example -- or natural disaster could potentially destroy the planet. 

Although he believes humans can colonize the moon within 20 years, and establish a sufficient base on Mars within 40 years, humans "won't find anywhere as nice as Earth," unless we visit another solar system.  The moon looks to be like an ideal place for a potential new colony.  Not only does it appear to have everything needed to sustain humans, ice has also been found at its poles.

Nations have been thinking about colonizing other planets for years.  DailyTech earlier reported that NASA is working towards a permanent moon base that would be a stepping stone to allow astronauts to explore Mars firsthand.  Swedish researchers are also studying different ways to have a self-sustaining colony on the moon.

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Moon's gravity?
By Sunday Ironfoot on 6/15/2006 8:21:30 AM , Rating: 2
Would a settlement on the moon really be a good idea? It has 1/10 the earths gravity, therefore our muscles would become attrifuted (is that actually a word?) if we stayed there long enough.

Perhaps Mars would be better if we could actually reach the place.

RE: Moon's gravity?
By aegisofrime on 6/15/2006 8:50:09 AM , Rating: 2
The word you are looking for is entrophy.

RE: Moon's gravity?
By aegisofrime on 6/15/2006 8:51:20 AM , Rating: 2
Woops actually the actual word is Atrophy. They look and sound alike :p

RE: Moon's gravity?
By spwatkins on 6/15/2006 10:19:24 AM , Rating: 2
"entrophy" is not a word

RE: Moon's gravity?
By masher2 on 6/15/2006 9:39:37 AM , Rating: 2
Lunar gravity is 1/6 the earth's, not 1/10. Gravity on Mars is 1/3 as as muscle atrophy is an issue in either case.

The problem with Mars is its too much like Earth to be really useful to us. The moon has unlimited free vacuum (invaluable for many industrial processes), a far stronger solar flux than even we have on earth (cheap solar power here we come), and a shallow gravity well that makes shipping to Earth extremely cheap. The moon could easily become a thriving industrial base within 100 years or less.

Mars, on the other hand, is more like a really poor area of Antarctica. Widespread human habitation is several centuries away. Other than for research purposes, there's simply no reason to go.

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