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Hopefully space will become the ultimate wild west v2.0 where colonists can be free from the growing socialist government interference and constraints here on Earth.
Since I joined the space community in 1983 (I’m currently a consultant to NASA’s astrobiology program and Planetary Defense Coordination Office), I’ve been watching various iterations of “the Moon-Mars thing” come and go. It’ll cost too much, and the rationale for pursuing these goals is not compelling enough to justify the cost.
Meanwhile, in an article titled “Billionaires May Be the Future of Space Policy. Here’s What They Want: Space nations, UFOs, and Mars colonies are on the wish list,” Foreign Policy staff writer Emily Tamkin reports, “a number of private individuals of great wealth are charting the future of space policy, whether through money or influence….” She cites billionaires Igor Ashurbeyli (net worth unknown) and his wacky idea to create a “space nation” called Asgardia, Elon Musk (net worth $20+ billion) and his disturbing focus on colonizing Mars, Yuri Milner ($3.5 billion) and his fringe-y Breakthrough Starshot and Breakthrough Listen initiatives.
And there are more. For example, there’s Jeff Bezos (net worth $98 billion, give or take) – the richest man in the world, depending on what day it is (his net worth depends on the price of stock in Amazon). The Scotland Herald, in an August report on “The world’s weirdest billionaires,” quoted Bezos as saying, “People will visit Mars, they will settle Mars, and we should because it’s cool.”
(Because it’s cool? Oy vey….)
Westenberg and her ilk, who advocate for human colonization of Mars, seems to ignore humanity’s dismal history of colonization on Earth. Why should we expect humans to behave any differently on Mars? The idea of space colonization is driven by neoliberal ideology, which argues for “free” enterprise, private property rights, minimal to no government… Look at the “mission” and “vision” statements of space colonization advocacy groups such as the Mars Society, the National Space Society, and the Space Frontier Foundation.
And then there’s international law. The U.S. is signatory to the 1967 Outer Space Treaty (which, as a ratified treaty is the law of the land), which requires signatories to ensure that they do not contaminate extraterrestrial environments with terrestrial biology, or vice versa when we start bringing back samples from, for example, Mars. Once humans land on Mars, scientific exploration of the planet for evidence of past or present microbial life on Mars effectively comes to an end.
See my blog post: https://doctorlinda.wordpress.com/2016/11/09/journey-to-mars-for-the-science/
Reading your comment I see no reason why we should not colonize Mars.
More specifically I don’t see why people getting money should not use it as they wish.
Anyway, don’t worry, whatever may be your objection and whatever the objections of people in charge of planetary protection, we will go to Mars just because we want to.
Your absurd extremist protection rules will be changed when needed for something more reasonable. The probability of active Martian life on the surface of the planet is extremely low and the probability of such life being harmful to Earth life, is even lower.
Women are going to be the last to realize that Elon Musk is desperate to let the world know that the only thing dumber then traveling 450,000 miles to the moon in a Nazi rocket is launching a sports car at Mars. Have you ever read a quote from the super genius Elon Musk? He drops the f-bomb and says post card garbage. Anyone remember Tesla? The man that gave us our best inventions and shaped the modern world? He always said earth was not a planet, it’s a realm. We use his tech everyday all day but when it came his biggest truth we ignore it. Read one of his quotes, Albert Einstein was asked “What it is like being the smartest person in the world?” He replied “I don’t know, ask Tesla.” You can’t go to space without Einsteins E=MC squared, theory to explain a theory. We humans were powerful enough to realize our world 5o years after we first left the ground?