Re: But it's a lousy analogy, Elon
> transport, on its very first trip, all the infrastructure
It doesn't have to do all that on its very first trip. There will be several ships used to test entry, descent and landing, and these will bring cargo which will help found the Mars based. Part of the point of Mars is that it has resources in situ from which fuel and oxidiser can be made. It's certainly a challenging project. Musk's point here is that he knows he can't do it alone.
> Mars is exponentially harder
It really isn't. The Moon is harder because it has no atmosphere, nights that are 14 days long, lower gravity, less water and generally fewer other resources. There's a reason for picking Mars over the Moon. Musk knows the Moon is there.
> Even partly reusable ones
BFR will be completely reusable for most uses.
> Orion-style nuclear ships
Well yes; but now you are talking fantasy that won't happen for the foreseeable future. BFR has a real chance of happening within the next decade.