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28 August 2015

Cosmic Jamestown: An Astrobiologist Is Already Fighting For Martian Independence

Should colonists on the Red Planet be free from Earth’s influence from the get-go?

Cosmic Jamestown
White Independence

The first human colonists on Mars will have to deal with a lot of things to survive, from food to water to shelter. But for future Martians to be successful in the long term, one astrobiologist thinks that they also need independence from Earth control.

In a manifesto of sorts published in the journal New Space, Jacob Haqq-Misra argues that future Martian colonists should be given the chance to develop their own culture, value systems and governments from the start. An astrobiologist at the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting international cooperation in space exploration, Haqq-Misra believes that early independence might not only stave off a war for independence between Martian colonists and their Earthling rulers, but could allow Martians to develop new ways of problem solving, Sarah Fecht writes for Popular Science.

“The eventual landing of humans on Mars will be of tremendous transformative value,” Haqq-Misra writes. “Before such an event, I propose that we liberate Mars from any controlling interests of Earth and allow martian settlements to develop into a second independent instance of human civilization.”

“At some point in time, they will not like that anymore,” Frans von der Dunk, a space law professor at the University of Nebraska, tells Fecht. “They won't feel like they are American or Russian or wherever they come from, they'll feel like they are Martian. They will say, 'Listen, we don't want to pay taxes anymore, and we want to develop our own legal system.'”

Luckily, legal theorists will have some time to work out a plan: NASA is aiming to develop the technology to send people to Mars by the 2030’s, but has no plans to found a permanent colony. While the Mars One project claims that it will send a small group of volunteers to found a permanent Martian colony in 2026, the company’s mission plan has been criticized as unfeasible at best and a complete scam at worst. But if people want to ward off a potential interplanetary war, it might be worth considering letting Martian colonists make their own way.

The entire article is available here.