Visions of a Martian Future

Futures 117 (2020)
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Abstract
As we look beyond our terrestrial boundary to a multi-planetary future for humankind, it becomes paramount to anticipate the challenges of various human factors on the most likely scenario for this future: permanent human settlement of Mars. Even if technical hurdles are circumvented to provide adequate resources for basic physiological and psychological needs, Homo sapiens will not survive on an alien planet if a dysfunctional psyche prohibits the utilization of these resources. No matter how far we soar into the stars, our psychologies for future generations will be forever tethered to the totality of our surroundings. By shaping our environment toward survival and welfare during the voyage to Mars and in a Martian colony, we indirectly shape our psyches and prepare them for a mission of unprecedented alienation and duration. Once on Mars, human factors such as leadership structure, social organization and code of conduct, group size, gender balance, developmental cycle, mobility, length of stay and the ecological settings and type and manner of subsistence, will create a novel Martian culture. The degree that settlers are severed from the Earth will affect how radically foreign this culture will be when compared with cultures on Earth.
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