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Is the moon more feasible to colonize than Mars?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/2/2018 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,553 times Debate No: 112219
Debate Rounds (3)
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The moon's soil for growing crops is actually usable. The martian soil is poisonous.

The moon is MUCH closer to earth than mars is. How much closer? On a scale of 0 to 100 (0 being Mars, 100 being Earth), the moon is at about a 99.


The only real advantage that the moon has over Mars is its closer proximity to earth.

Mars has a 24 hour day like on earth "critical for crop growth" the moon on the other hand as a result of being tidally locked to the earth is light for two weeks and dark for two weeks.

Unlike the moon, mars has a thin atmosphere "though composed mostly of carbon dioxide" however the carbon dioxide can be used to generate oxygen for the colony and just general carbon dioxide for the plants we would need to grow.

Mars has twice the gravity the moon has, meaning the effects and possible health hazards of low gravity would be less severe.

also unlike the moon, mars has SUFFICIENTLY more water-ice than the moon, this is essential for a permanent colony.

Also mars is 1.95 times the size of our moon, meaning we would have much more surface area to colonize.

You could make the argument that mars lacks a magnetic field and ozone layer, meaning the radiation levels would be higher, but would be a blessing compared to the moon, the moon also lacks a magnetic field, but doesn't even have a thin atmosphere "it has an exosphere, but its such a wisp it may as well not be there" and the moon is 35% closer to the sun meaning the radiation you would receive on the moon would be horrific even by mars's standards.

also you said that mars's soil is toxic, this is because of the type of salts and heavy metals contained in the soil, but all you would need to do is wash the soil, than its viable for farming.

the moons soil is nothing more then powdered rock with it being 50% silicon dioxide glass in weight, the soil sticks to pretty much everything and would be problematic in a lunar farm, although you would get the befit from calcium i guess.

but regardless both of the soils would need improvements, both the soils from Mars and moon lack sufficient nitrogen, and are full of heavy metals, you could probably grow stuff in it, but those vegetables would be inedible unless the soil was modified beforehand considerably.

So no, the moon is not more feasible to colonize than mars, a few bases and a outpost, sure.
but if were talking about a second home for humanity, mars is the better option, the moon is just accessible than mars, but other than that mars trumps it in almost everything else when we consider building a permanent home there.
Debate Round No. 1


1) A main advantage that the moon has over Mars is its closer proximity to earth.

2)The moon is tidally locked, but that may be a good thing because if crops that can grow fast are planted on the moon, the crops can completely or partially grow within 1 lunar day since it is so long. Solar panels can also help supply artificial light when it is night.

3)Mars has a thicker atmosphere, but the difference between the martian atmosphere and the lunar one is only about 10 millibars. It's not a noticeable difference.

4)The moon's lack of gravity can be solved a similar way it is solved for Astronauts aboard in space stations where there is no perceived gravity. Whatever is done on the ISS to prevent effects of low gravity can also be applied to people on the moon/mars.

5)There is water on both bodies. Saying mars would be better because it has more water would be like saying San Francisco is in a better spot than Chicago because San Fran borders a bigger body of water. As long as there is reliable, sufficient water near a colony, it wouldn't matter much if it was ocean sized or lake sized. There isn't much flowing water on mars.

6)There is more land to colonize on mars, but (as a metaphor) that's like Britain colonizing America before it colonized Wales. America was much bigger. But since Wales was closer, it got colonized first, then after some time passed, America was colonized.

7)The moon would endure radiation but that is fine since settlers would be in glass lined buildings and glass is opaque to UV, so the radiation wouldn't affect people inside the pressurized cabin/city

8) Since (according to scientific theory) the moon was made from earth. Because of this, it has similar materials as earth. The moon has some foreign minerals but the moon is earth's child, about half of the moon came from earth. (Assuming the martian soil is filterable) the astronauts would eventually run out of filters to filter the soil and new ones would have to be shipped which is extremely hard since supplies would have to go across much more space to get to the astronauts and mars only has a peak window where this can be done. The moon is always consistently available, and the distance between it's closest point and it's furthest point from earth are relatively constant.

9) If the moon soil is about half sand, that would be okay because there are plants that grow in sand on earth. There are some in the desert, not many because of other factors. On beaches, there are trees that can grow in sand. There even can be food that grown in sand, it just happens to be grown in soil, which (might be) sand mixed with worm poop. If worms were brought along, then the lunar soil that is harvested can turn into dirt.

10) If the moon becomes about as developed as earth, then it would make it easier to go to places like Venus or Mars since there would be more supplies that could voyage a far away trip to mars.


First off I don't think you are aware that a vast majority of plants and crops are dependent on a 24 hour day night cycle for their survival.

And that thin atmosphere on mars is thick enough to actually do something with, unlike the moon

As for the water, the moon has water, but not alot, and its most likely local to the poles, mars on the other hand has a crapload of water ice, and mars has pontential for terraformation, the moon is a horrible option for all this in the long term, also mars is right by the asteroid belt, this is a huge advantage for resources.
Debate Round No. 2


The Moon has pockets of ice in places that are in perpetual darkness, which are numerous and big. Although Mars has ice, it's located near the poles. Both the Moon and Mars have ice.

A 24 hour day night cycle can still be maintained. If it's daytime on the Moon and the plants need night, shades can be put on the glass dome so the plants can get the needed darkness. On the other hand, if the plants need light and it's night, artificial light that emulates sunlight can shine on the plants so the plants can get light when it is necessary.

The atmosphere on Mars is .01 earth atmospheres more than on the Moon. Any plants that are planted on the unexposed surface of Mars would die of the nearly consistent cold temperatures and/or the lack of initial air pressure, it's why there aren't any growing plants in the Himalayan or the rocky mountains. So Mars can't be improved to make it more earth-like with plants since the plants would need an initial atmosphere thick and warm enough to do so, neither of which Mars qualifies for.

Although a cabin base on Mars would be close to asteroid, since a martian base would have to go into the vastness of space, mine Phobos or Demos, and come back to Mars, it would be very hard to mine Mars's Moons. A sheltered base on the Moon on the other hand, would be able to mine the Moon for materials that can be used for the Moon colony and earth. If minerals were going to the base, they would have to travel from Phobos/Demos to Mars whereas the Moon can be mined and the minerals would already be there. Minerals would also have an easy time getting to earth if taken from the Moon verses Mars.


"The atmosphere on Mars is .01 earth atmospheres more than on the Moon. Any plants that are planted on the unexposed surface of Mars would die of the nearly consistent cold temperatures and/or the lack of initial air pressure"

i think you misunderstood what i was saying in that regard, i was inferring that we could take carbon dioxide from that atmosphere and use it in pressurized martian greenhouses, of course they would die if we left them exposed to the martian conditions -_-

Also their is evidence that martian water ice is also abutment near the martian equator, unlike the moon, this means we could colonize the equator with ease without having to ship water if we were on the moon.

as for what you said regarding filters, i said it needed to be washed, not filtered.

Also 50% sand?the majority of sands composition is silicon dioxide in the form of quartz, although the lunar regolith contains similar properties, its composition is almost nothing like sand.

Also you talked about making glass shelters and such for the moon, on mars we wouldn't need these structures to be as thick if we were on mars, making radiation protection easier, also what about going outside? it doesn't seem feasible we would never have to leave these habitats and go outside, along with this, ultra violet radiation and such will be bearing down on this habitat for two weeks at a time on the moon, it doesn't matter if we add protection, this is still a huge health hazard.
Debate Round No. 3
54 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Im_Intelligent 3 years ago
First of all Theia was another planet, not an asteroid.

Secondly if your suggesting that Jupiter and Jovian moons formed in the same orbit thats a load of crap.
Posted by asta 3 years ago
Sorry about not getting back. I was busy with some other stuff.

According to, it states, "Surprisingly, the composition of the Earth and the Moon are very similar"

Not only that, but since the moon was formed from Earth and Theia (the asteroid that crashed into earth that created the moon), according to the same site, it states, "In other words, Theia and Earth were formed in the same region, and have therefore collected similar material. These similar living environments also led them eventually to collide; and the material ejected mostly from Theia, ultimately formed the Moon.".

This means that Earth and Theia were initially extremely similar in composition. When the 2 bodies collided, they made a moon that was more similar to Earth then Theia. All the moon is is part Theia and part Earth.
Posted by Im_Intelligent 3 years ago
because Jupiter had the mass required to keep its hydrogen and helium -_-

most hydrogen or helium that the moons did have vanished very quickly, light gases like that dont tend to stick around in low gravity environments like that in most cases.

what you are failing to understand is that the hydrogen and helium are irreverent in this case.

Consider it like this asta

you have acknowledged that the Earth and the Moon are definitely from the same material, given the Earth formed first, and it was an impact not disk that formed it, however the moon is very poor in iron by earths standards and lacks an atmosphere, the most it ever manages is a thin exosphere made of neon or lunar dust, however the things the moon is made of are common in earths upper layers, not entire planet, this is the same case for the Jovian moons and Jupiter

it doesn't matter if its trace elements, it depends on how much there is, and 5% will still add up to 15.89 earth masses of these materials on Jupiter in some form or another, the fact that these elements are on Jupiter in that quantity "doesn't matter if its trace by composition" means these elements were also present in large amounts in the disk that existed around Jupiter at one point in the distant past, the moons formed from these heavier elements, most hydrogen or helium that was present disappeared from these moons long ago for previously described reasons, no physicist, no astronomer, and no astrophysicist thinks the four Jovian moons are from an independent origin, and for good reason.
Posted by asta 3 years ago
"15.89 ENTIRE EARTH MASSES". It's not about how much of something there is, it's about the percentage. If Jupiter has a low percentage of Water and Silicon and the Jovian moons have a high percentage, how could they have a similar composition?
Posted by Im_Intelligent 3 years ago
and they did not form between the asteroid belt and jupiter -_-
Posted by Im_Intelligent 3 years ago
Boy, the moons would have formed from jupiters disk, not the suns.

"-According to your analysis, Jupiter doesn't seem to be too alike to the Jovian moons." <- no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no

jupiter only has these trace amounts because juputer is mostly composed of hydrogen and helium, ALSO the other elements and trace elements ive listed make up 5% of jupiters mass, when you do the math, thats 15.89 ENTIRE EARTH MASSES of these elements inside jupiter, the point i was trying to make is that jupiter and its moons are VERY SIMULAR -_-.

"-In order for planets to be made out of the sun, the sun had to go through a nebula stage. Did any of the gas giants go through this stage? I think the matter in the gas giants condensed like it did on the other planets. They are more like Earth then the Sun." this whole statement is meaningless, because both the sun and planets would have formed via collapse, so jupiter definitly formed the same way, jupiter, saturn, uranus, neptune formed after the sun, they formed the same way, its not that hard to understand -_- also i listed more then hydrogen and oxygen -_-

The jovian moons are of jovian origin -_-
Posted by asta 3 years ago
-The reason why the Jovian moons could have been orbiting in the same path that Jupiter is is because they could have formed from the sun, like everything else in the solar system and if Jupiter rotates/orbits the same way as the sun, and the Jovian moons rotate/orbit the same way as the sun, then it may be due to this that the Jovian moons emulate Jupiter in this regard.

-According to your analysis, Jupiter doesn't seem to be too alike to the Jovian moons. The Jovian moons all have large amounts of water and silicon. Jupiter only has trace amounts of these. The reason why the Jovian moons all could be so similar to each other is because of the possibility that they were all former planets between the asteroid belt and Jupiter.

-In order for planets to be made out of the sun, the sun had to go through a nebula stage. Did any of the gas giants go through this stage? I think the matter in the gas giants condensed like it did on the other planets. They are more like Earth then the Sun.

-H2O is common in a lot of places in space. It's made from the most common element (hydrogen) and another common element (oxygen).

-You have some factors/evidence, but how did you get 13 different factors?
Posted by Im_Intelligent 3 years ago
Also just in case you didn't know this

The reason i point out the fact that the Jovian moons orbit Jupiter in the same direction it rotates is because when planets form, planets spin, the derbies and disks they are made with spin with them in the same direction during there accretion, thus moons that could form in it will orbit the planet in the same direction it rotates.

This is for example why all the planets orbit the sun in the same direction, the solar disk in which the planets formed was spinning in the same direction the sun was spinning at the time.

This is why the four Jovian moons orbiting Jupiter that way is strong evidence of a Jovian origin.
Posted by Im_Intelligent 3 years ago
i must point out that even from these elements in which the moons are made of, it is clear that water, ammonia are elements most present on the outer two moons, thus adding even more clarity to a Jovian origin.

The moons could have formed around Jupiter no problem, well not exactly, Jupiter probably had more moons at one point, in the same way the sun had more planets during the beginning of our solar system.

So either

A: the four main moons of Jupiter are of Jovian origin <- which is what the evidence supports


B: four oddly low mass independent planetary bodys coincidentally made of the same trace elements found in Jupiter were captured into stable circular orbits around Jupiter in the order of composition to density from most to least for distance. < Highly unlikely.

just to put that into context, thats 13 factors that need to be matched in a order 4 times in a row <- simple math.

So from a probability standpoint, it looks like this.

Likelihood of Jovian origin = 99.997%

Likelihood of other origin = .00003%

so the Jovian moons are definitely from a Jovian origin, at least until there is sufficient evidence of the contrary, i mean there is a .00003/1 chance :3
Posted by Im_Intelligent 3 years ago
"Titan didn't come from Saturn, the Jovian moons didn't come from Jupiter and so on" <- again not true

again i point out

*Circular obits
*Orbital Direction
*Ganymede's properties

you seem to have this misconception that moons can only be formed via being captured or via impact, this is not true, at least when were talking on the scale of gas giants, like how planets can form around stars, moons can form around forming gas giants in the same way, a great example of this is the planets we have found around brown dwarfs, brown dwarfs are a middle ground between gas giants and stars, however they more resemble planets, and formed pretty much the same way juptier/sun formed, however they never had enough mass to generate fusion in there core, furthermore we have found planets and rings around them.

there was not only gas were the gas giants formed there was also ice and rock and metals, and this definitely had a role in the gas giants formation.

But to be more specific for your convenience, Jupiter's composition is found to contain trace amounts of carbon, ethane, hydrogen sulfide, neon, oxygen, phosphine, sulfur, methane, water vapor, ammonia, and silicon-based compounds

IO - contains large amounts of sulfur, hydrogen sulfide, silicon.

Europa - contains large amounts of water, carbon, hydrogen sulfide, silicon, and even seems to have a thin oxygen exosphere.

Ganymede - contains large amounts of water, silicon, and even has trace amounts of ammonia.

Callisto - contains large amounts of water, silicon, carbon, trace amounts of ammonia.

As you can see most of the elements which make up the majority of these four moons are found inside Jupiter, which means they were there during the planets formation, and thus around it, the four Jovian moons are definitely from a Jovian origin.
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