But before working our way through that list consider "Should NASA ditch manned missions to mars?" My answer is yes because I'd rather it be done for profit by free enterprise, but let's consider their arguments.
Mars may not be worth the time, money and trouble.Absolutely right with respect to NASA. Let them continue to send rovers and not people.
[Stop] whining about not getting enough money.Correct again, this guy is on a roll. Use the money they've got wisely instead (but not likely considering the three alternative options the article suggests.)
To open space to settlement... I like how this article starts.
To advance space development, we need cheap resources in near-Earth space.It will happen. Two companies have already been formed for this purpose. But this is just a little off key. To advance the economic sphere of humanity, we must understand that all wealth starts with claims and many small individual claims will speed that advance faster than anything else. Claiming small rocks is a part of it, but claiming planets is a bigger part. This is a moral imperative.
Mars is not even in the running.As an exporter of minerals? This is correct and misses a huge point completely.
Paraphrasing, "Space as a sea is a false analogy."No analogy is perfect (that's what makes them an analogy) but the point about construction is valid. The problem is not technical, but political. They will be constructing ships in space, with captains and crew; Not homes with individual freedom. It's a statist's dream come true. Other statists have dreams of controlling planets and their colonists as well, but that doesn't have to be. Freedom for individuals is possible if they embrace individual ownership (rather than some rigid survival plan that everyone must follow.)
Mars has air enough to be troublesome, but not enough to be very useful.Mostly false. For one, the air is a source of cheap energy. Solar power alone is not enough for industry, but methane is. Produced from the air by solar power, it will drive the engines of industry before nuclear power takes over, but thereafter remains useful.
Then a bit of irrational thinking... Paraphrasing, "The trip to mars involves radiation," but living in space doesn't?
mining of Mars may become economicalYes, immediately to settlers. Dismissing mars gravity is just hand waving and ignores it's practical value in mining.
The last section tries to poke holes in other peoples justifications. Let me poke holes in that. People want to go and that justification is entirely valid if they don't force others to pay for it. It is the only justification required.
About this, I'll just say, robots are not settlers.
That list kind of goes nowhere. But I found two related Space Review articles.
Zubrin also pointed out a simple solution to the problem Park noted with humans encumbered by spacesuits and thus not able to, for example, directly touch a rock. “A simpler approach is just to bring the rock inside the [habitat.] Then you can hold it in your hand, and look at it, and do absolutely everything that a field geologist on Earth can do with it.”
“One of the noteworthy spinoffs of the Christopher Columbus mission,” [Zubrin] said, “was the United States of America.”Yes, people do over think these things when they have an agenda. Then the second article...
We want to go there to see if we can find evidence of life.Well, that is a justification, but a very poor one. First, because it's used to justify taking other people's money for it. If they didn't do that, then fine, go for it. But it would not be able to compete with another justification... profit. We can go to mars with everybody involved making a profit... at today's costs.