In a recent article in the Washington Post Space X revealed that they are still aiming for a 2018 launch to Mars. Space X are a private company and are receiving no financial support from NASA, although NASA seem to want access to all of their data so they can use anything useful. How nice. Space X are also suggesting that this will be the first of a series of launches (one every 26 months) with the aim to send supplies to Mars that will eventually enable a human settlement. They are taking the voyages across the Atlantic to the New World as their model – for years before a large population made the voyage to live in the Americas these supply crossings made their final arrival a more likely success.
This got me thinking.
If we take that model to its logical conclusion there will come a time when those living on Mars would never have set foot upon the Earth. Just as those in the Americas, and Australia, no longer viewed themselves as European, so it is inevitable that those who are born on Mars will no longer see themselves as Earthlings, but instead they would be Martians. So the next inevitable step would be independence for Mars, with its own Border Control etc. It’s what we humans have always done so why should this be any different?
What if the Earth then stopped sending regular ships? I’m guessing the Martians would already be self-sufficient so they wouldn’t need us, but they certainly wouldn’t have the technology or materials to travel back to Earth independently.
What if they stayed alone like this for 1000 years, or more?
What if, during this time there was a cataclysm on Earth that prevented any future travel to Mars?
What if that cataclysm wiped out life on Earth…?
The people on Mars would then continue their lives, unaware of what had happened, and to a degree also uninterested. 10,000 years or more pass. Cities are built, advancements are made. Tales are told about how they came from the sky from a far-off planet. Scientists become interested in a red planet out in space, Mars’ nearest neighbour. After another 1000 years a probe is sent out to see if there is life on that seemingly barren world. When the probe arrives they find evidence that there was once water there.
Maybe this planet might support life in the distance future, if the Martians could land there, and organise a colony…