It’s just packed with detail.
On the one hand yes I agree there is no material difference between people in a station beyond Low Earth Orbit and people in a space ship traveling between the planets so such a thing would be useful for determining the environment and developing protective tech for a crew…
But on the other hand we’ve already sent a whole bunch of craft beyond LEO and know what the environment is like and can reproduce those conditions on the ground for purposes of developing protective tech.
So lets just go to the destination… not just near one.
Another thing which struck me… I’ve been thinking of asteroid mining very much like the oil industry. Go get an asteroid and bring it back to be refined, processed, and then used to manufacture things… water, air, propellant, structures, and electronics… The Moon would be a nice place for such a processing facility… as would Mars. Why? because they aren’t Earth and if you de-orbit something slightly wrong… it’s not that big a deal. But also the waste gases of such processing are beneficial for Mars and a non-concern on the Moon.
But something Dr. Zubrin said about high cost of transport and the result it’s had on mining industry and cities developing around the mine unlike oil rigs has me questioning that idea. My question then becomes how close is close enough to the asteroids for one to build a processing facility? (also how does one smelt something in Zero G? Would you not need a rotating station to have some level of gravity?) Is Moon orbit a good place for such a facility to be built? It’s close to us so we can more easily crew it… It’s far enough from us that slight navigational errors are less likely to result in something big hitting Earth… But is it too far from the asteroids?
Also Lunar Orbital Gateway is not such a processing facility… It almost certainly will not become such a facility… No if such a thing were to be built then private industry is going to build it.
Artificial gravity… We should have had at least some experimental craft testing it in the past few decades… If NASA won’t do it… Some private company will have to do it. Preferably sooner rather than later.