It obviously comes with a tradeoff of mass
So you haven't done any calculating.
They have plans to, with their internet constellation
Oh, million dollar investments in a Mars base that won't generate anything at all are bound to show up. Because OMG I LOVE SCIENCE people will just crowdfund it.
You'll still have people who will want to go
You certainly will. Will they be the ones who can afford to piss out millions of dollars for tickets? With a high chance of dying on launch, on route, or on Mars? Not very likely. You don't even have that many people ready to pay that much to go to space, or the ISS, things that are by now safe and sure.
Obviously you test it on Earth as much as possible
Just the amount of missions to Mars that are utter failures over minor things, failures of chutes, failures of trajectory, a minor instrument not deploying, dust fucking up the panels, the ground being a different consistency.. and these are things we can shrug off. Not the keystones of human lives and the entire success of a Mars mission.
"Let's hope it works when we get there" is just so fundamentally boneheaded and counter to the way we've done everything else by incremental improvement.
I'm sure it won't be that hard to acquire enough soil.
Alright, let's go with that.
make sure the American government doesn't say it sees the base as it's own territory
Or rather, make sure nobody else doesn't see it that way. I refer you to my earlier statement about handouts of money.
Martian Ecosystem bullshit is completely void, we've already contaminated Mars
Actually NASA worked very hard to not contaminate Mars, it's in all the probe mission specifications to avoid it. The difference between a few drones and a dozen humans worth of waste is pretty big.
the reaction GENERATES ENERGY.
"hydrogen with carbon dioxide at elevated temperatures (optimally 300–400 °C)".
You were getting the hydrogen from electrolysis you said?