For the development of the first off-world industrial base, a location that provides gravity is preferred to a location in free space. The world's industrial expertise was developed in Earth's gravity, and it will be much easier to adapt those same industrial processes to lunar gravity (|th that of the Earth) than to the microgravity conditions of Earth orbit or another location in free space. For example, the use of wheeled vehicles to transport goods and the separation of materials by gravity-gradient processes can be modified to be used in lunar conditions.
The first lunar settlement activities will be unmanned, but humans will follow soon afterwards because of their ability to solve complex problems and to adapt to unforseen situations. The microgravity conditions of orbiting space stations are known to have adverse effects on human physiology, including cardiac decompensation and loss of bone mass. The long-term physiologic effects of g G are as yet unknown. However, the Moon, whose gravity will permit humans to move about with comparable bipedal posture and locomotion that are used on Earth, will be more Earth-like and "user-friendly" than the microgravity conditions of orbiting space stations or the minimal gravity of near-Earth objects.
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