Democrats in Congress are trying to scuttle the high frontier plan to develop a lunar base camp for exploration of the solar system and beyond. Instead they propose to send one mission to claim Mars in 2033 at tremendous public cost. While it would be good to claim Mars, look what happened to Lunar development after the United States arrived first more than a half century ago- nothing.
The United States has a lot of frontier experience; it was initially a frontier nation and the lessons learned from Perry and Byrd, Armstrong, Lewis and Clark etc are still relevant. In fact one may look at expeditions to frontiers or climbing Mt. Everest to discover that a base camp at an advanced location is common. Frontier forts for the U.S. Army supported eventual civilian settlements; the Moon is the base camp for the solar system and its use will be shared with other nations eventually.
The Democrat Party with its socialist trend and habit of running up vast public debt should realize that with the way things are going presently the United States may well not be able to afford an easily chopped expensive mission to Mars. Incompetent health care plans that leave out the poor and globalization plus too high of a military pay scale are driving public debt higher. Democrats refused to continue to win the Cold War after the Clinton administration as it should have with partnership with Russia in numerous areas of mutual interest, business and military concerns. All that was required was to share the Ukraine with Russia along the Dnieper River border and recognize the Crimea as Russia. Peace with Russia with friendly relations with Russia was and is a primary U.S. concern for the rationally minded. Good relations with Russia mean a cheaper defense cost and better, cheaper defense against China. Democrats though are spaced out posturers that believe trashing U.S. financial infrastructure will help advance socialism and/or communism.
Democrats don’t really care about space development and human ventures that draw in the best of free enterprise people with engineers like the Tesla guy innovating Mars missions from a Moon base, or just sending chimps to Mars from a moon base to break ground for future Democrat Mars astrobureaucrats.
It is possible that an advanced working lunar base could act to synergize beneficial technologies for the Earth’s near-term survival of a number of approaching potential disasters from global warming to asteroid defense. The far side could provide good locations for the study of the Universe as well. Alternatively, Mars is a very sketchy locale for near-term benefit to the Earth in a survival paradigm. Mars is better for gradual colonization with steady methodical advances from all parties venturing from the moon base.