As we head into a new, exciting era of space exploration, some of the greatest minds in the world are mulling over what life could be like for humans on Mars. This includes studying all of the possible implications of us living in a colony deep in space: Legally, ethically, environmentally, and culturally. And while this line of thought truly sparks the imagination, it’s not as pre-emptive and out there as you might think.
“Living on Mars is not just a fantasy,” Charles Stotler Professor of Space Law (which is a real title that we are now obsessed with) at the University of Mississippi Law School says. “Actually, within the lifetime of millennials, we’ll go to Mars.”
This means that within the next 50 years, we could have colonies of people living on the red planet — which brings up fascinating questions. Will corporations fight over resources? Will people look different? And what of Martian culture and traditions? Think of all the cultural differences between (let’s say) Chicago and Nashville, places that are less than 500 miles from each other. Expand that to a colony 33.9 million miles away from its nearest neighbor, Earth, and it makes you wonder: Would customs or religions or day to day life be similar when you’re that far from Earth? Would being a Martian transcend the issues that divide us on earth — eclipsing conversations of race, heritage, etc.
Right now, researchers, scientists, and lawyers (like Stotler) are looking to predict how life on both Earth and Mars will change. Next, they try to get laws in place that will anticipate what the people on Mars will need. It’s straight out of dime novel and right into our world (and beyond?).
To find out the challenges, dangers, and environmental changes lawyers are working to legislate on Mars — check out the above video from Uproxx in conjunction with NatGeo. And then, start thinking about a possible life in a dome — living in a wild, new frontier. Because the out-of-this-world lifestyle is coming and you might not want to get left behind.