The main advantage of the moon is its remoteness from the Earth. The moon can be reached within three days after launch, while a trip to Mars can take several months.
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There are a lot of minerals on the moon. Gold, silver, platinum, helium (helium deficiency on Earth) are a few of the long list. But there is no soil or sources of greenhouse gases that could help create an atmosphere.
There is water ice on the moon, but it is locked in small passages in the lunar passages. There is much more water on Mars.
The temperature on the moon varies from -150 to +120 deg Celsius, and on Mars from -80 to +30 deg Fahrenheit.
The Martian day lasts only 40 minutes longer than Earth. For comparison, the day on the moon is 28 times larger than the Earth. A shorter night on Mars (12 hours versus 2 weeks on the Moon) makes solar panels a viable idea for a continuous supply of electricity.
Gravity on Mars is one-third of the Earth, while on the Moon, it is one-sixth. It is easier to adapt to Martian gravity.
There is an atmosphere on Mars, which consists mainly of carbon dioxide. The construction of atmospheric generators could help solve the problem of air saturation with oxygen and the creation of an atmosphere close to Earth.
Of course, the Red Planet cannot boast of solid pluses, there are also serious limitations.
Water and soil on Mars are saturated with salt, before using them it is necessary to master the complex desalination technology.
There is no magnetic field on Mars. Probably it can be created artificially.
The construction of the Lunar colony can be carried out much faster (only eight years), and in the future, it can serve as a safe training ground for the subsequent colonization of Mars. But the focus of our resources on the Moon will definitely postpone the development of the Red Planet.
In addition, the Moon is too small and has a huge dependence on Earth’s resources in terms of survival.
Today, there are a huge number of various obstacles to such a complex technological process as the colonization of other celestial bodies.