Anthropomorphic colonization of MARS is often thought of as an extension of Earth-based society and culture. The physical realities of distance and the current state of communication technologies provide a contradiction to this imperialist notion of an Earthian colonization of MARS. Any settlement on MARS, due to its isolation and distance from Earth, would indubitably develop its own culture and set of values – unique to the contextual conditions that would define this culture as independently Martian. Learning from the scenes of waste and degradation of Earth and its natural resources, this new society will recognize the intrinsic value of the natural Martian landscape and cherish and value the aesthetic and cultural value of a bucolic MARS – at least superficially.
All the notions of environmental protection of the Martian landscape would mask the locational displacement of the resource exploitation that is necessary to develop a society. Taking advantage of MARS’s two moons and its relatively close location to the asteroid belt, resource collection would be re-located off planet through a system of inter-planetary shipping lines which would congregate at the various exospheric docking stations at the edge of the Martian atmosphere. Here, resources are unloaded and transported onto the surface through the network of space elevators that tether the exostations to the planet’s surface along the equator.
Taking as inspiration the ubiquitous shipping container that makes global trade possible here on Earth, the IPTU (InterPlanetary Transport Unit) is designed to be modular, adaptable, and durable – allowing for a flexible system of interstellar transport. It is through this standardization of spacecraft, along with the location of the exostations removing the energy needs of constant entry and exit through the atmosphere that the program of interplanetary resource acquisition becomes feasible and viable economically.
By mining the moons and asteroid belt for the raw materials it needs, the new Martian society effectively hides the dirty business of civilization building from the general consciousness, fostering an atmosphere of an eco-utopian society below.