Colonizing Mars

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Colonizing Mars

Table of Contents


Discussion and Analysis3




Government Rhetoric:8

Law and Policy:8

Overview of Space Programs:9

The Mars Exploration Rover Mission:11



Colonizing Mars


The idea of colonizing other worlds has been persistent throughout the history of the space age in official and public discourse about space exploration and in the realm of science fiction. Common rationales offered for the human colonization of outer space are to fulfill human destiny or execute a biological imperative, to spread Earth life throughout the universe, to expand economic development into space, and to protect the human species against global catastrophe.

Primary proponents of space colonization include space advocacy groups and aerospace industries. Challenges to colonizing other worlds include the high cost of space transportation and space-based operations, limited understanding of the effects of varying gravity on human and other life, and the need to consider how new human societies should operate in non-terrestrial environments. U.S. government space policy avoids the use of the term colonization because of its negative connotations. Nonetheless, colonization continues to be a popular term among space advocates, along with the term settlement.

In the 21st century, advocates continue to promote space flight as the fulfillment of a biological necessity and as a means of extending U.S. free enterprise, with its private property claims, resource exploitation, and commercial development, into the solar system and beyond. The mass media tend to replicate these views with little analysis of their ideological underpinnings or their technical and economic soundness.

This paper discusses Colonizing and Terraforming Mars in a holistic context. In addiotion to this the paper addresses the questions of why we need to do it and how it would be done.

Discussion and Analysis


U.S. and European space exploration advocates of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s promoted the idea of conquering, exploiting, and colonizing outer space. Among the best known of these advocates are the Russian-Soviet space flight theorist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, the U.S. rocket builder Robert Goddard, and Germany's Werhner von Braun. Tsiolkovsky was influenced by the late 19th century Russian mystic philosopher Nikolai Fyodorov, who believed that humanity was intended to leave Earth and spread out into space.

Other early advocates of space colonization included science fiction author Olaf Stapledon, who asserted that humankind should colonize other planets to exploit their resources for Earth's benefit, and rocket designer Krafft Ehricke, who claimed that it was humankind's destiny to expand throughout the universe. In the 1950s, books such as journalist Willy Ley's 1959 The Conquest of Space, with illustrations by space artist Chesley Bonestell, and a series of articles in Collier's magazine (also illustrated by Bonestell) titled “Man Will Conquer Space Soon!” helped to popularize the idea of colonizing other worlds. The Walt Disney Company played a role in this popularization as well (Ley, 1959).

In the 1960s, U.S. and Soviet human space flight programs and the race to land on the moon kept public attention focused on the idea of human expansion into space. In the 1970s, the idea of colonizing space got a major boost from physicist Gerard ...
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