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Countries on Mars

Discussion in 'Science' started by Floris, Mar 2, 2018.

  1. Floris

    Floris I'm just me :) Hi. Staff Member

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    Colonizing Mars is set to be arguably the most prolific scientific advancement of mankind. To many notable visionaries such as Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking, becoming an interplanetary species is necessary to protect mankind from potential extinction. Corporations and governments alike are planning their manned missions to the red planet despite a lack of global clarification of how Mars will be colonized among nations.

    According to current international law, no country can lay claim to any extraterrestrial entity. These laws emulate those that have been maintained over several decades to protect international waters. Agreements also state that citizens of a particular nation must follow laws laid out by their national jurisdiction. Just as Americans afloat in international waters must follow U.S. law, so do those that enter the vastness of space. When Americans first step on the Martian surface, they will still maintain their citizenship; therefore, their colony will be an American colony. The U.S. could still not lay claim to the land that they are settled on, but these laws have not yet been tested and it is unclear how this would play out if challenged.

    These laws may be revisited around the time that the first manned missions to Mars are occurring. There is a movement to establish Mars as an independent entity so that appropriate laws may be established for their protection. These have only been theorized and the legality of this system has not been debated. Many aspects of Martian life will be entirely different from Earth and it would be valuable for colonies to establish their own laws. For example, resources will undoubtedly be limited for several years. There may need to be laws preventing hoarding or manipulation of such valuable items for personal gain.

    Current laws were generated in the late 1960’s before there was an expectation of permanent settlements in space. This intention may not be ideal for nations who hope to make astronomical investments in sending their people to Mars and beyond. If those nations cannot get a return on that investment, then there is little incentive to embark on the journey aside from the investment in science itself.

    The current landscape, if unaddressed before manned missions in the mid-to-late 2030’s will allow for the growth of national colonies of individuals from their respective countries. New legislation and appeals to the United Nations will likely take place in the near future as corporations and nations alike try to seek a future return on their investment. These appeals may even pave the way for nations governed by corporations like SpaceX. If international treaties are formed to allow for claiming of extraterrestrial entities, look for there to be a rapid increase in investments for space exploration.

    Recent announcements from the Trump administration indicate that a return to the Moon and establishment of a permanent lunar colony before missions to Mars will be on the national agenda. If this motion comes to fruition, there may be international talks preceding manned missions to Mars. Regardless of timing, the main desire from the scientific community is an appropriate timeline for the successful colonization of Mars.

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