The Strategist

A Home Away From Home Or A New Culture - What Awaits For The Martian Colonists?

04/04/2015 - 14:16

The project of future human colonisation on Mars is on its initial stages, getting ready to be executed. Bruce Dorminey brings together a speculative extrapolation of Martian future. 04 April 2015- Forbes’ contributor Bruce Dorminey, writes about the innovative plans of “off-world” human culture settlement in Mars. He stresses on this as a path breaking step of technology and a never attempted-before feat in human history for posterity to remember. Technology of 21st century has enabled researchers to access the net even from the frozen Antarctic end of the world. Thanks to the Infobahn, remote places on earth are not so remote after all from the rest of the world. Having “chartered” our blue planet earth, scientists are planning on creating a new human civilisation in the red planet- Mars; an ambitious off-world leap indeed. Now the question at hand is what plans do the ‘Mars pioneer’ scientists have in mind? What future of the untamed and remote red planet’s have they envisaged? Quoting Gertrude Stein, the author of ‘Lost Generation’, her famous lines: “but there is no there there”, was a reflection of the superfast technology which was almost overnight converting the landscape of her hometown. She wrote these lines on her return to Oakland wherein she was born and spent her childhood. According to Dorminey, the first colonists of Mars, who would migrate from the earth, may possibly react in the similar manner, as they are likely to change the face of the red planet. However, there still remains an untested doubt, as to whether the interplanetary channel of communication will prevent a new and independent Martian culture to be born; instead, make the Red planet an offspring of the Planet Earth. The founding director of the “Inner Space Training” of Netherland, Mindy Howard, who also trains astronauts, says: “Even though [Mars colonists] will be fully committed to their vision of colonizing Mars, they will still experience the typical “emotional change curve” of shock, anger, rejection, acceptance, healing. On the International Space Station (ISS), astronauts are able to have real-time conversations with Earth and to speak with a psychologist in real time if needed. This will not be possible on Mars, because there will be about a seven minute time delay.” However, Bruce Dorminey speculates further that the first colonists of Mars will keep in constant touch with the earth, even ten years after the colonisation work has continued. It will console them on the desolate red planet, and stop them from feeling nostalgic. It is only when a separate Martian culture evolves, overcoming all the constraints- physical, mental, psychological, that the dependency level and the regular communication with the earth will start reducing. This trend independency, according to Howards, can only be established as and when a new generation, namely a “Martian generation”, takes birth. Nevertheless, the anthropology professor of the University of Virginia, Mr. Richard Handler informs: “Given ongoing [Earth] contact, it would [probably] take hundreds of years for a truly distinct separate Mars-based human culture to emerge”. In fact, the “multi-disciplinary professor” of MIT, Michael Fischer goes further saying: “[Mars culture] will start like Houston or Singapore, all squeaky clean and futuristic, and it will evolve into layered complexity like Mumbai and Rio with energy and color”. According to him the future Martian civilization have two possibilities either to grow incorporating the Red surrounding or to collapse and perish among the red dust. As Howard puts it: “Their experiences will be completely different to anything we Earthlings have. Only they will be able to understand and support each other when times get tough. Much of their culture will be about helping each other survive.” References:

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