As the world prepares to colonise Mars, one must pause to reflect on intentions, methods and reasons for undertaking this celestial leap. For we are only humans, mere mortals given to wanton greed and temptations who explore to satisfy desires and curiosities. Since the Age of Man began on Earth, humans have explored and expanded territories in search of resources for better life. Once settled, they plundered, massacred, enslaved people from other territories for their resources and authoritatively impoverished them. Even today, using different systems of domination, the loot continues. We do not believe in unconditional cooperation for collective benefit, instead, continue indulging in individual ambitions to achieve fame, fortune and immortality. The pursuit to colonise Mars, seems no different.
The future we foretell is inspired by the history of human civilisation.
The exponential rate of scientific advancement made possible by integrating Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) in our technologies will enable us to not only travel to Mars, but also build habitable dwellings to live there. However, it will remain impossible to naturally adapt to Martian conditions without pressurised suits and breathing apparatuses. Humans have not yet immigrated to Antarctica nor have Ocean beds been explored for settlement. Why then, will families want to dissociate from the terrestrial habitat our bodies are built for and move to another planet? The answer is threefold.
To Explore: Initially, scientists, researchers and students are expected to live there to better understand ground conditions and provide necessary foundation for future habitation. Other travellers would include billionaires and powerful world leaders capable of affording space tourism.
To Exploit: Once access to valuable minerals and new elements have been established, Mars will be host to humans’ parasitic endeavours. Skilled and unskilled human labour (considered inexpensive and profitable compared to A.I. robots) will be sent to live in ‘Paracities’ to extract, treat and transport newfound resources back to Earth. Higher pay and promise of brave new life will cause mass immigration. Even the excess planetary waste overflowing on Earth will be transported to Mars. Thus, cleansing Earth of all mess – gentrifying it.
To Impoverish: ‘Paracities’ will be forced to ravage and impoverish Mars for Earth’s enrichment and prosperity. The humans there, unable to afford returning to Earth, would be sent to other celestial bodies and repeat the Martian experience.
UN’s Treaties and Principles on Outer Space has an Agreement Governing Activities of States on Moon and Other Celestial Bodies with generic principles that hope to foster peaceful exploration of Celestial Bodies for benefit of all mankind. However, knowing humans, even if they, somehow, collaborate and successfully enforce detailed policies strictly regulating methods and intents for undertaking space missions with tough penalties on disobeying parties, they can never be trusted to always do the right thing.
So, why don’t we, first, focus on coming together peacefully to cooperatively explore the far reaches of our own Gaia and harmoniously celebrate coexistence as Earthlings? Only then, may we venture out and explore the New Frontiers as One People.