In Nautilus, Tim Folger writes about how scientist are still debating whether organic and inorganic materials found on Martian meteorite ALH84001 contain evidence that life existed on Mars before it existed on Earth. If it did, then life could have spread to Earth from meteorites, which could make human beings ─ and other Earthly life ─ […]
Cabin fever might set in quickly on Mars, and it might be contagious. Quarters would be tight. Governments would be fragile. Reinforcements would be seven months away. Colonies might descend into civil war, anarchy or even cannibalism, given the potential for scarcity. US colonies from Roanoke to Jamestown suffered similar social breakdowns, in environments that were Edenic by comparison. Some individuals might be able to endure these conditions for decades, or longer, but Musk told me he would need a million people to form a sustainable, genetically diverse civilisation.
Musk makes no secret of the end goal: Create a new civilization on Mars. Speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., in September, he outlined the business plan—if that’s the right term for something that looks decades into the future. “If you can reduce the cost of moving to Mars to around the […]