Click Here to Read Part I – Continuing from our discussion a couple of weeks ago, I want to finish up talking about the Six Reasons Life on Mars Will Suck. After that, if you still want to go, I won’t stand in your way. If anything, these ideas will help you be prepared to tough it out as the first human interplanetary explorers. Let’s begin:
Your kids will be mutants
That’s right, friends. Colonizing Mars could lead to a new human subspecies, an international team of scientists theorized in a new paper published in the journal Futures. ‘While scientists have studied the impacts of low gravity on adult astronauts, they have never studied pregnant women or children before and don’t even know if it’s possible to carry a baby to term in low gravity.’ What other factors could impact your reproductive success? Solar radiation, lack of nutrients, mom’s health on Mars, access to prenatal care. So while it’s possible to have a baby on Mars … would you want to do that to a child?
When you die, they’ll do weird things with your body
When scientists study life on Mars, they think about everything; even the sad stuff. Those schools of thought have led to articles like ‘How to Die on Mars,’ and the results aren’t pretty. For example, a Mars colony will not set aside ground for a cemetery – who wants to be a gravedigger on Mars, anyway? Even if they did, ”it’s likely that they would only mummify over time, as the planet hosts no known bacteria that would decompose the body, and face the effects of radiation.’
What to do? Likely, the Mars colony would opt for things like ‘sky-burial,’ something they do in the Himalayas where you leave the dead body outside in a dignified place. They’re also considering something called the ‘human recycler,’ which ‘works by essentially dissolving the proteins of the human body and leaving behind only liquid and bone.’ I’m not a fan of either plan, but if you must do something with my corpse, I’d rather it not be used to play ‘Soylent Green – The Home Game.’
You might be a victim of Mars crime, which will be hard to solve
Move over, CSI: Miami – make room for CSI: Mars! Yes folks, people are still people and that means crime will be a thing when you get to Mars. We’ve already had examples of crime in low-earth orbit (LEO), so it makes sense that someone might get on the naughty list while on the red planet. How would we handle crime on Mars? Law enforcement on Mars will be very different from what we know on Earth. ‘Mars P.D. will have to deal with new blood-spatter patterns, different body decay rates, and space-suit sabotage—and they won’t be able to fire guns indoors.’
It gets worse, Martian settlers will still retain their Earth citizenship. ‘Consider the headache presented by an Australian national working on Mars for an American space-faring firm that has been registered, for tax purposes, in Ireland,’ the Atlantic continues. ‘He has confessed to murdering a Japanese seismologist in a non-jurisdictional mountain range somewhere in the Red Planet’s equatorial region. Who on Mars would be responsible for bringing this man to justice?’
I can see a legal headache in the future, when spacefaring nations are forced to codify Martian civil and criminal justice. On the other hand I’m like: “Best Judge Judy episodes, ever!”
Yes, life will suck on Mars, but it’ll be the greatest adventure
Let’s review – food will be weird, kids will be mutants, your death will be awkward. Life on Mars is going to suck. Now, let’s consider the good news. Traveling to Mars is the next phase of human adventure. A new frontier, a new planet of human possibilities. We’ve thought about it for years, but you’ll be actually doing it! Even the most boring person on Mars is an instant celebrity on Earth. Imagine your name coming up in the same sentence as Marco Polo, Francis Drake, and Magellan.
Additionally, as one of the first people on a new planet you have the opportunity to re-write the rule books. Think about inventors like Eli Whitney or Albert Einstein. You’re going to be thinking of new ways to do everything on Mars. There’s no telling what types of inventions you can come up with and claim as your own by being a Martian resident.
What else do you have to look forward to? Discovery! Every day on Mars will be a new thing to learn. How do you eat, what kind of work do you do, how can you do it on Mars? What kind of thoughts do you have when you’re on Martian soil, instead of Earth? People report incredible perspective when traveling through space – imagine what you’d discover about yourself by becoming a Martian!
So yes, life on Mars will suck but the possibilities are endless. I hope these two articles are helpful to you as you plan your Martian colony travel plans!