Illustration for article titled Earthlings Next Home: Phobos?

NASA scientists have been arguing for years that Martian moons Phobos and Deimos may be the best place to in the solar system for humans to colonize. Some would argue even better than our own Moon. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's HiRISE camera snapped two awesome color shots of what might be humanity's next home during a flyby on March 23rd. Why do NASA geeks think the Martian moons might be the best real estate investment of the 21st century?

The reasoning's simple — all missions to the Moon or Mars spend most of their fuel lifting off and landing. Fuel is expensive to burn and expensive to carry, so the less you need the better. Phobos and Deimos have very little gravity of their own (about 1/1000th that of Earth), and a convenient Martian atmosphere to slow your spaceship down in. Earth's Moon's the opposite, so despite the distance, it turns out you need about the same amount of fuel to land on the Martian moons as you to for a safe touchdown much closer by.

Illustration for article titled Earthlings Next Home: Phobos?

Can you picture yourself in a crater-side apartment complex? 9-km wide Stickney crater is the largest feature on Phobos, and with a view of Mars 80 times as big as the full Moon seen from Earth it's bound to be prime property some day.

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