Scientist: We Need Mars to Be Liberated of Earth
It must be independent, not a colony, in order to thrive
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2015 10:46 AM CDT
NASA's Curiosity Mars rover could soon be joined by humans. But will they be Earthling colonists or independent Martians?   (AP Photo/NASA, JPL-Caltech, MSSS, File)

(Newser) – With plans to send humans to Mars in the works, one astrobiologist says the time to prevent an interplanetary version of the Revolutionary War is now. Jacob Haqq-Misra, who works for a nonprofit dedicated to promoting international unity in space, lays out his plan for a completely independent Mars in New Space. "I propose that we liberate Mars from any controlling interests of Earth and allow martian settlements to develop into a second independent instance of human civilization," Haqq-Misra writes. Under his plan, colonists on Mars would give up their Earth citizenship, and only the new Martians would be able to own land on Mars. Earth governments and corporations would not be allowed to trade with the new Martian civilization or interfere with any aspect of its life.

Haqq-Misra believes his plan would allow Mars to develop its own culture, values, and—most importantly—methods of problem-solving, reports Popular Science. Plus, it would preclude any future war for independence from Earth. But it may not be all that feasible. Smithsonian Magazine reports it costs approximately $450 million just to get a shuttle to the International Space Station. Without interplanetary commerce, Martians would have to rely on massive amounts of donations or completely self-sustaining colonies. And while the Outer Space Treaty signed by 103 countries in 1967 bans nations from owning land in space, a professor of space law tells Popular Science colonists would still be under their home nation's laws, just like astronauts or sailors. (After eight months, a Mars simulator crew missed things like wind and peaches.)