I was watching a program on the history channel about the challenges and problems that confronted the pilgrims on the Mayflower o nthe trip to America to set up a colony.
There was ship failure, sea sickness, lack of nutrition, disease, death. Almost half the passengers that started the crossing died. I also learned an interesting fact. The pilgrims sold their homes, almost everything they owned for equipment and food to settle in the new world and to rent space on the Mayflower. And the expense was so great that they also set up a company to borrow money for the crossing and then return the money through sale of anything sellable from the new world. Food, such as rare new animal meats, furs for clothing, pottery for cooking, anything that could turn a profit was to be shipped back by ship to England and eventually dispursed through Europe.
Now shoot foward to a few years after NASA has returned astronauts to the moon and is looking on to Mars.
The first pilgrims will look towards the moon as a new place to make a living collecting rare minerals for shipment back to earth. Pottery made from moon rock, clothing made from sheeps wool and other animals or plants brought to the moon just so people back on earth can say hey I bought something made on the moon. In the far future Helium 3 will be mined from the moon surface for use in fusion reactors back on earth and maybe on ships. Or the moon’s surface rock will be used to create oxygen for people to breath and ships to use as rocket fuel. Think of the moon as a huge gas station for out going space ships. The gases, maybe even hydrogen, found in water at the moons poles would be blasted up to a lunar space post and passed on to docked ships. Also maintaniers and builders of moon technology, shelters, computers, cars, roads, will have jobs on the moon and everything we have here on earth can be made on the moon. We just have to find a way there.
But it will be like the past. People spreading out on ships once to expensive for people to board and use, to then have to sell everything they own and form a company that would make a profit for people back home.
The struggles would be grand but the outcome would be the same. Human will settle and go out into the cosmos.