This episode of Primal Space is supported by CuriosityStream. Watch thousands of documentaries for free
by visiting curiositystream.com/primalspace In 2024, SpaceX aims to send the first humans
on a 6 month trip to Mars. This journey will be the very beginning of
Elon Musk’s goal to make life a multiplanetary species. In order to achieve this, SpaceX will need
to establish the first Martian base and – over time – the first Martian city. Using their Starship rocket, thousands of
people will be able to travel to Mars and lay the foundation for the first human civilization
outside of Earth. But how will the first astronauts establish
a base on Mars? And what laws will they follow? In this video, we’re going to look at what
it will take to build a self-sustaining city on Mars. We’re also going to look at how Martians
will form their own laws in order to grow the first settlements into thriving cities. When the first astronauts arrive on Mars they
will need a place to stay. Since the Martian surface is exposed to much
more radiation than Earth, the first Martian habitats will most likely be built underground. More sophisticated habitats could be built
above land with a thick layer of water to absorb most of the radiation. However, transporting the enormous amounts
of water and materials needed to build these habitats would be extremely expensive. If the first Martian habitats are to grow
into large cities, the settlers will need to use the local materials found on Mars. Luckily, Mars has a large amount of useful
resources. The surface of the planet contains metals
like iron, magnesium and aluminium, while power could be harnessed from the sun. Oxygen is present in the planet’s atmosphere
and ice buried beneath the surface could supply all the water needed. But once the Martians begin mining these materials
for their own use, who owns them? In 1967, the US, UK and the Soviet Union all
signed the Outer Space Treaty. The treaty claims that no nation can claim
ownership of space or a celestial body. It would therefore be the sole responsibility of the Martian settlers to establish and enforce rules. But if history tells us anything, it’s that
creating a new colony is anything but easy. In May 1607, 104 people set foot on to Jamestown. By January, only 38 of these original settlers
were still alive. Many of these people died from disease and
famine, while others passed away from toxic water and tribal warfare. If building a new settlement on Earth was
tough enough, it’s safe to assume that building one on a different planet will be even more
difficult. To avoid conflicts over resources, the settlers
might agree to establish an economy before arriving on Mars. This economy could be based either on the
trade of local resources, or on a brand-new currency, independent of anything we have
here on Earth. In order for this economy to be fair and balanced,
it will need to be enforced – either by a group or a single person in charge of everything. Settlers could perhaps learn from the mistakes
made on Earth to create a much better system for running a city or country. “I think most likely, the form of government on Mars would be a direct democracy, not representative. So it would be people voting directly on issues. The potential for corruption is substantially diminished in a direct verses representative democracy. It should probably be easier to remove a law
than to create one. My recommendation would be something like
let’s say – 60% of people need to vote in a law but at any point greater than 40% people
can remove it. And any law should come with a built in sunset
provision.” This will help to keep the laws relevant to
the current advancement of the civilization. After 5 or 10 years, the Martians can vote
if they want to pass a certain law or get rid of it. Another problem is the potential threat of
war. The first settlers could face an extreme shortage
of resources almost immediately if the systems for mining water and growing food aren’t
working. Even if they have enough resources, the mental
struggle of being so far from home and committing to the Martian lifestyle could drive some
settlers over the edge. As soon as more settlers start to arrive on
Mars, they might establish different zones, countries or continents. And without any authority to police these
different places – the varying levels of advancement between civilizations could lead to chaos. These are just a few of the considerations
and problems that will need to be addressed if a permanent colony is to be established. So although Mars may not seem like the kind
of place to raise your kids, just imagine the first generation of children born on Mars. To them, Mars is home. Underground habitats, dust storms and homegrown
food is all they are used to. To them, Earth is just a tiny alien world,
floating in the sky. If you’d like to watch more about colonizing
Mars, check out this documentary on CuriosityStream – which looks at the science behind making
a self-sustaining city on Mars. CuriosityStream is a streaming service with
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join in the discussion as we continue to learn more about all things space. Thank you very much for watching and I’ll
see you in the next video.