Why should we climb out of a deep gravity well, just to occupy another one? Luna and (preferably) smaller bodies can serve for natural way stations to the extent we need them. For species survival, we should align development efforts toward a self-sustaining spacefaring economy. An early goal should be a functionally self-replicating, 90% self-sustaining, rather low-tech pilot plant for processing asteroid material into useable construction materials and commercial by-products. If we do not quickly achieve a sustainable space economy, neither will we sustain space science and exploration.
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