I love the Idea of a Base on the moon.
But, I think the way we know for certain it will never happen, is because the year is creeping upon 2020, if it was profitable to put a base on the moon, or beneficial for the military, such a base would have already been made. Are there ways to over come obstacles to low to no gravity, radiation, etc. Sure there are.
The real problem is money, There has to be a solid financial plan in place first. To show how much it would actually cost to build anything on the moon, or even send one item to the moon. Then you have to have a plan on how long it would take to recoop that investment and then how long to make a profit.
If this idea is not looked at from that perspective, it just stays as a dream / idea. No one. No corporation is going to want to invest time and money and labor for the betterment of mankind.
It would probably make more financial sense to build some kind of " Hotel " on the moon first. Sell that to the stupid rich. And use that as a test to see what is necessary to keep building on the moon that would actually benefit the scientific community and others.
I suspect though that N.A.S.A would have been the first to build anything on the moon. I mean they could have in theory instead of building a testing area in the desert to simulate Mars, Built a biodome on the moon and used that for a plethora of tests. N.A.S.A could have built a base on the moon, to make, test, and launch plenty of probes and rovers to Mars and other parts of the solar system... But they chose not to, It isn't a question of why didn't they ever think of doing that. But they chose not to for a reason.
Then you have the conspiracy theorists who are adamant that the moon is a spaceship, inhabited by aliens, that the Nazis' built a secret base on it during WWII... and on an on. Which just to have an independent exploration team to debunk or prove what is really on the Moon and Mars, would be really interesting. Some kind of Org/Team that couldn't be manipulated or infiltrated by governments or prevented from exploring.