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IsItEthicaltoColonizeMars?
ByCaliforniaAcademyofSciences(http://ww2.kqed.org/education/author/calacademy/)
DECEMBER9,2014

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TorespondtotheDoNow,youcancommentbelowortweetyourresponse.Besuretobeginyourtweetwith@KQEDEdspaceandendit
with#DoNowMars

FormoreinfoonhowtouseTwitter,clickhere(http://ww2.kqed.org/education/how-to-use-twitter-in-your-teaching-practice/).

DoNow
IsitethicaltocolonizeMarsorotherplanets?Whyorwhynot?

Introduction
IsgoingtoMarsareality?Inamissionwherethelinesbetweenrealityandfantasyseemtobeblurred,theMarsOne(http://www.marsone.com/)teamisplanningtolaunchanexpeditiontoestablishahumansettlementontheredplanet.In2024,fourindividualswill
leaveEarthonanone-waytriptoMars,withanewcrewoffourdepartingeverytwoyearsafterward.Fromanoriginalpoolof202,586
people(http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2014/04/10/300601241/why-do-202-586-people-want-to-leave-our-planet),thefinalgroupswill
soonbeselectedforeightyearsofintensetraining.Thegoalofthismission(http://www.mars-one.com/mission)istoincreasehuman
knowledgeabouttheoriginsofthesolarsystem,humanlifeandtheuniverse.Thisisthefirsttimehumanswillsettleonanother
planet,sonomatterwhattheoutcomemaybe,thescienceworldwillchangeexponentially.However,therearemanyquestionsthat
ariseconcerningtheethicsofthismission.Shouldwereallybesendingpeopletoanotherplanet?Isitourplacetoleaveourplanetand
imposeourselvesonanentirelynewone?
TheMarsOneMissionisaone-waytriptoMars.Humanshaveneversteppedfootonanotherplanet,andMarsprovidesan
environmentthatallowsustomakeafirstattempt.Withsoilthatpeoplecouldtheoreticallyextractwaterfrom,adaylengthsimilarto
Earthandtemperaturesthatrangefromabout70to-225degreesFahrenheit,Marsisthemostsimilarplanet(http://www.marsone.com/faq/mission-to-mars/why-mars-and-not-another-planet)toEarthinourSolarSystem.Thismissionwill,ofcourse,becostly.
ThecostofbringingthefirstfourselectedpeopletoMarswillbeapproximately$6billionandeachsubsequentmissionisestimatedto
costaround$4billion.However,notjustanyonecanmakeittoMars;thephysical,mentalandemotionalrequirementslessenthepool
ofqualifiedcandidates.AMarsOnecandidatemustbe18yearsofageorolder,betweenfivefeettwoinchesandsixfeettwoinchestall,
freeofillnessesandhavetheemotionalcapabilitytocoexistwithothersinacompletelyalienenvironment.Asthisisthefirsttime
humanswilllandonthisplanet,therearemanyuncertainties.Forexample,explorerswillbeadvisednottohavechildrenbecause
thereisnocurrentknowledgeofhowhumanconceptionandhumanfetusdevelopmentwillfunctiononMars.However,theexplorers
willbesupportedbyagrariantechnologydesignedforMars,aswellasperiodicmissionsfromEarthtoaidtheexplorers.Ifallgoesas
planned,theMarsOneMissionmayresultinhumanshavinganotherplanettoliveonlong-term.
Therearebenefitsanddownsidestothisproject.SendingpeopletoMarswouldprovideanunprecedentedwaytostudytheplanet.
And,Earthisrapidlybecomingoverpopulated;thereisacarryingcapacitythatmaysoonbereached.Thismissioncouldpotentially
openupanentirelynewplanettocivilize.However,thosewhogowillnevercomeback,devotingtheirlifetoariskymissionthatcould
verywellfail,despitetheimmenseamountofmoneybeingdedicatedtotheproject.Therearealsoethicalconcernsformovingontoa
planetthatisnotourstobeginwith.
So,whatdoyouthink?WhatisthefutureofMarsexplorationandwillhumansbeabletoadapttothenewenvironment?Isitethicalto
colonizeMarsasawayofdealingwithEarthsoverpopulation?WhatkindofrelationshipwillwehavewithMars?

Resource

A One Way Ticket to Mars: Behind the Mars One Project

VIDEO:AOneWayTickettoMars:BehindtheMarsOneProject
(http://content.time.com/time/video/player/0,32068,2424118205001_2144787,00.html)(TIME)
BasLansdorp,CEOofMarsOne,introduces,describesandaddressesseveralconcernsofthishighly-anticipatedspaceventure.

TorespondtotheDoNow,youcancommentbelowortweetyourresponse.Besuretobeginyourtweetwith@KQEDedspaceandendit
with#DoNowMars

FormoreinfoonhowtouseTwitter,clickhere(http://ww2.kqed.org/education/how-to-use-twitter-in-your-teaching-practice/).
Weencouragestudentstoreplytootherpeoplestweetstofostermoreofaconversation.Also,ifstudentstweettheirpersonal
opinions,askthemtosupporttheirideaswithlinkstointeresting/crediblearticlesonline(addinganiceresearchcomponent)
orretweetotherpeoplesideasthattheyagree/disagree/findamusing.Wealsovaluestudent-producedmedialinkedtotheir
tweets.Youcanvisitourvideotutorials(http://ww2.kqed.org/education/category/tools/video-tutorials/)thatshowcasehowto
useseveralweb-basedproductiontools.Ofcourse,doasyoucanandanycontributionismostwelcomed.

MoreResources
VIDEO:MarsOneIntroductionFilm(http://youtu.be/n4tgkyUBkbY)(MarsOne)
SeehowMarsOneplanstoestablishahumansettlementonMars.
VIDEO:CanWeMakeIttoMars?(http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/space/can-we-make-it-to-mars.html)(NOVA)
Thishour-longprogramexploresthechallengesthatwouldbefacedbyhumansattemptingatriptoMars.
WEBSITE:28MonthsonMars(http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/12/09/science/space/curiosity-rover-28-months-onmars.html)(TheNewYorkTimes)
ViewimagesandmapsoftheMarsexplorationbyNASAsCuriosityrover.

KQEDDoNowScienceisamonthlyactivityincollaborationwithCaliforniaAcademyofSciences.TheScienceDoNowispostedeverysecond
Tuesdayofthemonth.
ThispostwaswrittenbythefollowingyouthfromtheScienceNewsTeamwithintheCaliforniaAcademyofSciencesTechTeensprogram:
AlexanderB.,DarrahB.,JonathanH.,NoraH.,JanelleL.,OliverL.,OttoL.,andSamuelP.TheTechTeensareyouthleaderswhousedigital
mediatodevelopandcommunicatesciencestoriesforthepublic.

EXPLORE:COMMUNITY(HTTP://WW2.KQED.ORG/EDUCATION/CATEGORY/COMMUNITY-CREATED-CONTENT/),SCIENCE
(HTTP://WW2.KQED.ORG/EDUCATION/CATEGORY/SCIENCE/),COLONY(HTTP://WW2.KQED.ORG/EDUCATION/TAG/COLONY/),DONOW
(HTTP://WW2.KQED.ORG/EDUCATION/TAG/DO-NOW/),GRADES6-12(HTTP://WW2.KQED.ORG/EDUCATION/TAG/GRADES-6-12/),MARS
(HTTP://WW2.KQED.ORG/EDUCATION/TAG/MARS/),MARSONE(HTTP://WW2.KQED.ORG/EDUCATION/TAG/MARS-ONE/),PLANET
(HTTP://WW2.KQED.ORG/EDUCATION/TAG/PLANET/),SPACE(HTTP://WW2.KQED.ORG/EDUCATION/TAG/SPACE/)

(HTTP://WW2.KQED.ORG/EDUCATION/TAG/MARS/),MARSONE(HTTP://WW2.KQED.ORG/EDUCATION/TAG/MARS-ONE/),PLANET
(HTTP://WW2.KQED.ORG/EDUCATION/TAG/PLANET/),SPACE(HTTP://WW2.KQED.ORG/EDUCATION/TAG/SPACE/)

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CALIFORNIAACADEMYOFSCIENCES
TheCaliforniaAcademyofSciencesisaleadingscientificandculturalinstitutionbasedinSanFrancisco.Itis
hometoanaquarium,planetarium,naturalhistorymuseumandresearchandeducationprograms,whichengage
peopleofallagesandbackgroundsontwoofthemostimportanttopicsofourtime:lifeanditssustainability.
Foundedin1853,theAcademysmissionistoexplore,explainandsustainlife.Visitwww.calacademy.orgfor
moreinformation.
VIEWALLPOSTSBYTHISAUTHOR (http://ww2.kqed.org/education/author/calacademy/)

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