this could be political as well i guess. watching a BBC show (dara o briains science club) and the latest ep is about space. at one point it mentions the only reason man went to the moon was to outdo the russians and that will doesn't exist anymore in the west - but, the chinese might do it in the near future to outdo the us. could we then be looking at another space race? is it wrong that i'm hoping for that to happen as it would benefit us all no? new tech, science, knowledge. the other part was that due to the "rocket equation" that a return mission is impractical without a new type of propulsion but a one way mission is doable. are we likely to see people volunteer to go and set up a colony permanently? dismantle the craft and live there? expand as new people arrive? that i'm not sure about. i mean when people left for "the new world" there wasn't that much of a difference in living standards and people were used to working much harder (manual labour). i can't see that pioneering spirit in the gen pop - maybe in the science circles? a geologist who'd love to study martian soil/rock etc? ------- also trying to prevent muscle and bone loss in space. i might be looking at it from the wrong angle but bodybuilders use drugs/steroids/HGH etc to prevent muscle loss while cutting to keep muscle mass - do astronauts to anything similar? i mean finding whatever mechanism is responsible for the deterioration (dystrophy?) and preventing it would be better than the whole space treadmill thing surely?