Originally Posted by windu6
The 60s & 70s should've been a period of manned solar system exploration.
If our society didn't become lazy after the Moon landing.
More like broke and focused on other societal problems (hard to colonize the stars when engaged in expensive wars overseas.)
But did we really have the tech to colonize the moon back then? Do we have it now?
For human beings to live somewhere you need a constant and renewable oxygen, food, and water supply, as well as sanitary waste removal.
Were we ever truly capable of terraforming the Moon in that way in the 60's, 70's,.. or even today?
We barely had the capacity of hauling a single capsule and a couple of men and their life support that distance with the technology we had then. Bringing all the cargo needed for long-term human survival on the Moon is, in my opinion, STILL
outside of our current capabilities... at least at a cost that anybody would be willing to pay for it.
How many gallons of water does the average human require in a year (and that's for drinking, bathing, cleaning, and the growing of vegetables and supplying the needs of possible livestock of some sort)? Calculate that, then multiply it for the amount of people in your colony, and the period of time you are planning on being there. (Permanent? Then factor in population growth...)
You will have to bring that water with you. Even with calculating waste-water reclamation technology, that's a very, very large and heavy payload to get all the way to the Moon.
Same goes for oxygen. And the soil for hydroponic gardens. And all the food it would take to sustain human life until the gardens are constructed and the first crops are grown. (And exactly what is the process of storing all this stuff and growing crops in a low gravity environment?) Then all the construction materials for the surface pods to contain this stuff in.
Even if we had the tech and resources to get all this crap there in one piece, it actually makes far more sense to have robots set all this stuff up for us before we get there. Why risk human lives on that type of process? However: Robot technology still isn't that
advanced, even today.
I honestly don't believe we could have ever pulled that kind of activity at any point in the last 30 years. I have my doubts about doing it even in today's day and age.
If anything, I would say that we are not behind the times, but that the moon missions of the past were premature. We proved we could get there and back. But we never had a chance at the time of keeping humans there for any sustained period of time.