Hello, I’m happy you came across my blog! For my first few posts, I’m going to go over a brief history of US space exploration, the rise of the private space-travel industry, and how it is projected to develop in the future. Today we are at the precipice of a new era of space exploration, with some changes this time around that promise to bring up some pretty some interesting dilemmas.
For example, if Mars is colonized by a private company, which would presumably have the blessing of its respective government, how will it be governed? What conflicts might ensue as the colony grows and becomes more independent? Perhaps it will become resentful of being governed by an entity so far away, and with little say in how it is governed. Sound familiar? Yes, after a few generations we could have a United Craters of Mars, or something along those lines, fighting for independence if SpaceX doesn’t know when to give its blossoming young colony some space.
Of course, that is in reference to colonization by a nation-state, to be more relevant, we can also look to the ventures of the East India Company for some further insight into the challenges that arise from allowing a commercial entity to govern a society. How would such a colony make itself profitable to its mother corp? Would they be required to pay for the supplies that they could not produce for themselves? What if a colony from another, possibly less than friendly, country shows up and encroaches on their territory or resources? Will they be able to work it out on Earth, or could the colonies having such distant communication with their respective governing bodies lead to misunderstanding and conflict? That is just one topic that I will be covering in the following weeks. In more practical matters, I also want to look at the challenges that face anyone seeking to set up house on a foreign planetary body, and the technical difficulties of getting there.
First of all, we have to get there. Will we redesign the rocket? Which design will come up on top? How can we ensure that it will be safe? What kind of fuel will it run on, how will it be propelled, how can we do it efficiently, and how fast can we get it to go? What will the impact of such a long journey in micro-gravity have on the people aboard, and how can we minimize those effects?
Once we are there, unless- and until- travel to Mars becomes very efficient, the colony will want to reduce its dependence on earth for basic supplies as much as possible. They will certainly need to be able to grow their own sustenance, and unless petri-dish grown hamburgers become popular, I have to wonder if Martians might end up being vegans, if only because it would be more convenient than figuring out how to transport and then raise animals in space, along with humans. We’re not even sure if humans can reproduce off earth, much less other organisms, so a fledgling society just planting its roots in the barren martian soil would be amiss to rely on raising livestock as a source of food. They may get so used to relying on plants as food that they will forget about eating meat altogether. Who knows.
Which bring us to the interesting topic of how a Martian culture might develop. What will their unique values and customs be? How will their language change over the years in isolation from earth? What social issues will they face? How different will they look in a few hundred years time living in such a drastically different environment?
And of course, I can’t neglect to report on the awesome developments that are already taking place. I will be exploring these topics and others in depth during the coming weeks, every Friday. So be sure to click follow so you can conveniently keep up with the latest developments and debates in space travel. It’s sure to be a blast!
And remember, your comments are always welcome. I’d love to hear about any developments I might have missed that you’d like me to cover. If I happen to make an error, or otherwise go off course, feel free to mention it. A lot of this will be based on research that I will conduct every week to gain deeper knowledge about a particular issue, as I’m by no means an expert, so it will be a learning experience for me too; albeit, a subject that I am very interested in and will be happy to learn about.