A small excerpt from a paper i wrote back in college.
"The internet was made for cats. Ironically so is space"
The notion that we would not take our subservient little buddies with us is absolutely absurd. To recount evidence of this prior to space travel one need only look to our most celebrated explorers as a species. We refer to them as Vikings. The Norwegian skog, oujie cat was a faithful companion to many on their Vikingr. And an important part of the crew, with an above 90% kill ratio these little predators kept the precious food stores safe from pests. While providing comfort to sailors during perilous journeys. So why not take them to space? The TL;DR version is a small list of pros and cons.
Pro: 1: Apex predator, our precious little friends are literal murder machines. They are probably the most dangerous creature on the planet for their size to kill ratio.
2: Boxes were made for cats. What better creature to take with you? Something that is not only comfortable in confinement but thrives within a provided area, and actively seeks the smallest most condensed area possible.
3: Cats are good for your heart. When cats purr we feel the love, their low hertz snuggles provide a much needed health benefit.
Con: 1: Area denial. Once we set foot on a foreign planetary body, we will need to stretch our legs. With a territorial radius expanding upto 1 mile per individual, cats will become an invasive species almost immediately.
2: Genetically modified mutant cats. We cannot afford to send a species that is a potential allergen hazard into a confined environment. In doing so we will most likely make them into nigh extremophiles.
3: Transmutable diseases.. We share minor genetic similarities with cats, allowing their biology to affect ours. Encountered by our companions, unbeknownst to us infection spreads.
I had a fairly decent section encompassing many scenarios, benefits and pitfalls. But this should make for a decent convo-starter. Also the idea of cats in 0-G is hilarious, and frightening. Never underestimate the adaptability of our subservient little friends.
The visible half of the moon has been a part of our sky since before life existed on Earth, I wonder if developing it would be seen as spoiling a natural wonder, part of humanity's birthright. Of course just to be clear we'd still build on the dark side.