“We are all tired of being stuck on this cosmical speck with its monotonous ocean, laden sky, and single moon that is half useless. Its possibilities are exhausted, and just as Greece became too small for the civilization of the Greeks, so it seems to me that the future glory of the human race lies in the exploration of at least the solar system!”
-John Jacob Astor, Journey in Other Worlds: A Romance of the Future, 1894.-
MARS BASE ONE
Physicist Stephen Hawking predicts by 2046 we should have a Mars colony. This writer thinks we could have that colony by 2030 if we push it. As mentioned in an earlier article, continued earth ‘turf wars’ (political/religious upheavals, world poverty, etc.) keeps delaying ‘launch time.’ Please stop reading this article and view Stephen Hawking’s “Universe: Colonizing Mars” on You Tube. Hawking don’t think we’ll survive another 1,000 years unless we seriously consider inter-planetary colonization. I agree with the professor 100%. Colonizing Mars is a good start. Among the many books that offer road maps to Mars I recommend Dr. Robert Zubrin’s ‘The Case for Mars’ to start with. Page space doesn’t allow me to get into details.
Reader, pretend the year is 2030 AD. Combined space crews from NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), ESA (European Space Agency), POCKOCMOC (Russian Federal Space Agency, Japan (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), CHSA (China National Space Administration), along with space scientists from a smattering of other countries arrived safely at their designated landing zones on Mars six months ago. They total 100. They have a three year supply of food, water/oxygen making machines, and other vital equipment. The colonists are in for the long haul. Resupply vessels won’t arrive for another year. The joint Mars mission cost billions but the trip was well worth the gamble. The colonists are meeting in one of the larger structures.
The international crew is governed by a team of ten scientists led by NASA’s Dr. Sybilrina Ampil a Filipina-American from Chicago and co-captain Dr. Viktor Kozlov a Romani-Russian (Gypsy) from Kazan. The combined crew of 100 scientists-settlers is drawing up plans to establish a permanent colony with a self-sustaining government independent from Earth.
During this historic meeting the colonists agree that constructing above ground population centers are too dangerous. Mars is prone to planet shrouding dust storms, Mars quakes, and volcanic eruptions. Mars near non-extant atmosphere could easily permit meteorite/asteroid strikes that could take out the colony. With the recent discovery of underground rivers the colony has a good chance for long term survival. They agree to build population-industrial centers in recently discovered caves/caverns.
Also during the meeting the colonists agree unanimously that if the fledging colony is to grow and prosper it must be self-sustaining. A 20 to 30 year time table is set for severing ties with Earth. Manufacturing centers small at first must be built as soon as possible. These centers will utilize the super-rich mineral deposits that exist on Mars though for the time being colonists must rely on industrial equipment sent piece meal from Earth. A gutsy bunch all 100 agree with the plan. The two captains and crews will write the Martian Constitution. Five hours later the assembly is gaveled to a close. The brave 100 retire to their sleeping quarters for another Martian night.
EARTH’S TURF WARS
Mars bases must act as planetary launching pads for future deep space exploration/colonization. Save for a few moons that orbit Saturn and Jupiter, there’s no other places in our Solar System even remotely habitable for humans. New planets require new ways of thinking and acting. This writer seriously thinks that human nature will only change on a person-by-person basis. This is where religion, ethics and government come into play. Will religion be relevant on this strange new world; more so but with serious revamping.
Mars will be successfully colonized only when we fix what’s wrong on Earth. The biggest challenge for the New Martians will be for them not to be suckered in to transporting earth’s many ‘turf wars’ (religious/political rivalries, racial hatreds, gender inequality, and other such nonsense) to the red world.
Settlers must insure that Mars will not evolve into a philosophical replica of Earth. Case in point: at the time of Christopher Columbus the newly ‘discovered’ Americas quickly became mired down in political corruption, religious bigotry and racism more so than Old World Europe. It is imperative that we humans kick the hate habit or we will destroy ourselves. Do we have time or guts enough to do it? We’d better! Our killing abilities long ago surpassed our ethical capabilities making for a very dangerous scenario.
Are advanced alien civilizations eyeing us? Space ‘geography’ (our galactic positioning) would rule against this. The Oort Cloud envelops our solar system like a cage. The Oort Shield as I call it may prevent our radio messages from reaching extraterrestrials which can be a good thing. The Cloud discourages potential alien ‘tourists’ (hostile probes and extraterrestrial exploration teams) from finding out where we are; God’s clever invention, no? This may make First Contact difficult but it gives us enough time to develop our own space technologies to a degree that we can eventually leave our galactic sector to meet alien visitors on our own terms; if they seek peace that’s cool. If ‘ET’ wants to ‘throw down’ (fight) bring it on! The 1950’s hit movie ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ comes to mind. I’m no scientist only conjecturing.
Future ‘Martians’ will eventually develop into a unique species of human being (evolved bodies to comfortably adapt to Mars low gravity, eyes that adjust to a distant Sun, etc.). Future colonists must never dump their ‘garbage’ on new worlds. In short leave the s*** behind and clean up before you come.