I remember watching a Q&A section where someone asked the speaker why we didn't just establish a base on the moon, then jump to Mars from there. The speaker explained that was like climbing Everest and setting up base camp in your back garden.
We should have moon colonies by now and ironically the Apollo program is probably the most at fault for that. In order to make it happen a lot of political capital was expended, creating a particular political situation which has become a permanent institution within NASA manned spaceflight (specifically, billions of federal dollars flowing into a few very specific congressional districts which has continued through Apollo and Shuttle programs and now SLS/Orion). If NASA had instead concentrated on a slower program which built up long-lived infrastructure and optimized toward lowering launch costs and increasing capabilities then we would easily have cities (or at least towns) in orbit and moonbases, and Mars bases.
More cool stuff from the Zooniverse.
Dig out your red/blue 3D glasses, click on the image then hit your browser fullscreen button and take a look at this low-sun composite to see the moon in impossible detail. 3-D Moon | Moon Zoo
Also click on the "whole of the moon" link at the side and view a moon movie only posted today and never before seen by any human eye.
Another cool webpage and also quite useful (or is it really only the English with a weather obsession ?)
The current state of the winds at any point on the planet.
(if you go back to the top level domain, you can also track ocean currents, temps, waves and a lot more)
Click, drag and zoom the interactive image. earth :: a global map of wind, weather, and ocean conditions