The Cassini probe has found water on one of Saturn’s moons.
Mars, apparently, has been a water planet sometime in the distant past, but is now barren. There might be water there still, hidden, but life on the surface doesn’t look, for the moment, sustainable.
There’s only one thing to be done, here.
Mars is close, as far as these things go; less than 60,000,000 miles from your living room on a good day. Saturn is way, way too far away for a convenient commute at 1,200,000,000 kilometers. But people shop in the suburbs all the time. And the trick, like it is for any trip to Costco, is to go for the one big purchase. Get everything you need all at once, ship it back and put it in storage until you’re going to need it. Enceladus is a piddling 500 kilometers wide, less than a twelfth the diameter of Mars. And even though Mars is only about a tenth the mass of the Earth, Enceladus is far less than that. So Mars should be able to take the hit without so much as an orbital wobble. And besides, it’s the seventh furthest moon from Saturn, and nowhere near the largest. Saturn won’t miss it; it’ll have thirty moons and its rings left, that greedy bastard.
Even if it’s a bare one-quarter ice, that’s still more thatn 15,000,000 cubic kilometers of frozen water that won’t stay frozen – the heat of reentry and the dust storm from the impact is certainly going to bring the temperature of the surface up from the somewhat unpleasant -80 to 0 up a a few degrees, and fifteen or twenty above is not only liveable, but comfortable. That fifteen million cubic kilometers is a fraction of the Earths’s home amount, but this is just a start. And, don’t forget, there are other icy moons out there.
We don’t need that water yet, but we will; we don’t need that real-estate yet, but by God, we’re going to someday. It’s going to take a lot of effort, but it’ll be worth it. We’re making a long-term investment in the future of the human race, a future of cheap real estate and very fine red-sand beaches. The question is when, not if, we’re going to need that space.