Writing a New Human History on Mars
Will the evolved man of the second millennium be able to write a new human history on Mars? Will a man who, for us, represents the man “of the future” be the primitive man for the future Martians?
Just after the outbreak of the Big Bang and the beginning of human life on Earth they wrote the beginning of the history we know. With the first man on Mars, we can write a new chapter of a beautiful and long history of the growth of ‘humanity.
Man will learn new techniques to settle, to protect and repair himself, and to survive on Mars, bringing with him a wealth of knowledge advanced from the Earth and, for this very reason, relying on primitive human experience, he will be able to exploit the resources of the Martian territory and to sustainably inhabit a new world. But will man be able to survive on Mars and thus avoid extinction? If so, will his adaptation to the new physical and climatic conditions have changed the human species, as has happened since the monkeys, billions of years ago, arrive at today’s human species? As Darwin would say, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but rather the one most adaptable to change.”
Avoid human extinction
Science claims with certainty that, as the history of the evolution of the species that lived on our planet teaches so far, more than 99.9% are now extinct. Are we therefore destined to become extinct with no chance of survival? How did we come to this? A man by evolving, continuing to inhabit and exploit all that the Earth has to offer, and today it is shrinking to the bone: population growth is growing more and more disproportionate to the space available on Earth, which will no longer have the place or conditions to host people. It also carries out important climate change that gives man more and more signals of the Earth’s crisis: melting glaciers and rising ocean levels, deforestation, and the relative extinction of many living species, making large ecosystems increasingly uninhabitable.“We are running out of space and the only places to go to are other worlds. It is time to explore other solar systems. Spreading out may be the only thing that saves us from ourselves. I am convinced that humans need to leave Earth.” So would colonizing another planet be the solution? This is certainly a hypothesis already advances by many scientists, including Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking, and entrepreneur Elon Musk, according to which becoming a multi-planetary species could save us from the extinction of humanity.
Mars is the most similar planet to Earth
“Mars is the planet next door. For centuries its reddish color has animated fantasy and dreams but now it is something more: the destination of man’s next great journey into space.” 1
As Giovanni Caprara says in the book “Rosso Marte”: the great adventure of a man in Space, Mars, more than any other planet in the solar system, is at the target of space agencies and researchers around the world. This is no accident.
Mars is the fourth planet in the distance from the Sun, first after the Earth, and is the only one on which the presence of water is determined. Millions of years ago Mars had water in abundance, but since then all the vast areas of liquid and surface water have disappeared, remaining present only in the form of underground ice.
Despite the cold temperatures, which reach a minimum of -150° and a maximum of 20°, a very weak atmosphere, a reduced magnetic field, and an arid and desert surface, Mars is the planet most similar to planet Earth. Putting the two planets at comparison shows that both have almost the same arrangement of the inner core, while some characteristics vary such as gravity, equal to 1/3 of that of the Earth, and much colder temperatures.
Make progress with scientific research and human research
Everything we now know about everything that is outside the Earth is the result of scientific progress that has seen the creation of probes and rovers designed specifically for exploration in orbit and on the surface of other planets. Among these, the Moon and Mars remain in the sights of NASA and ESA, both because of their proximity to planet Earth and because they can be inhabited by humans. In particular, rovers have been launched in Space for years to advance scientific exploration of the planets, bringing with them successes and discoveries. In 2015, Opportunity crossed the finish line of the Olympic marathon on Mars, covering 42 km, and together with Spirit collected one hundred thousand images. Even today, starting from 2012, Curiosity confirms the presence of a past life and all the requirements, such as the presence of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and water, for a hypothetical present life. Perseverance rover has recently landed on Mars to collect rock samples for the first time.
But then, what more can man do to advance space exploration? Surely man is the only living being who can give concrete answers to all the studies conducted so far: every single discovery or research has been made to understand whether life forms existed, exist, or may exist on Mars. How do you know better than taking a man to Mars?
Experience a new model of society
The colonization of Mars not only means bringing man to it, but it also means establishing a society that regulates human life so that one day we can talk about Martians. But how can one imagine a society on Mars? We will never have a certain answer. The man will land on Mars and a base commander will guide him as if he were the first small hierarchical system.
But what will happen when a man multiplies and the first Martian base becomes a village and then a colony? We will have “a real society with real people living real lives, with children in schools and community orchestras. All kinds of things that a base commander might think are completely extraneous. (…) “The colony might start as hierarchical, but the process of nature is going to take it in the direction of freedom.”
Zubrin, the founder of the Mars Society, spends a lot on issues related to the so-called “society 2.0” on Mars: “The whole point is to create new branches of human civilization, It’ll have its dialect, its literature, own jokes and sense of humour. It’s going to be different, a different culture, and I think that’s good.”
Mars is not owned by anyone and will soon be the object of conquest and management of world hegemonies. The hope is that, even if it is a model of society that is currently utopian and unpredictable, a future Martian society can learn from that of the history of the Earth to aim to live forever.