Colonizing Mars is practically mandatory considering the far future of humanity, and space agencies have already started to make the first ‘baby steps’ towards that goal. Elon Musk is one of the most important public figures who claim the feasibility of such an ambitious purpose.
If only several decades ago, we could only think of colonizing Mars as a scenario for successful sci-fi movies, things are a lot different nowadays. If Artemis turns itself to be a success, meaning NASA’s mission to return humans to the Moon after more than half a century, the next destination will be Mars. Building a colony on the Red Planet is not an option to consider at the moment, but sending humans there for the first time in history to study the conditions up-close is entirely feasible.
Huge legal challenges for a Martian government
For services provided on Mars, or in transit to Mars via Starship or other colonization spacecraft, the parties recognize Mars as a free planet and that no Earth-based government has authority or sovereignty over Martian activities,
Accordingly, disputes will be settled through self-governing principles, established in good faith, at the time of Martian settlement.
Musk has previously explained during SXSW 2018 how a government on Mars could look like. He claimed that most likely, the government on the Red Planet would be characterized as a direct democracy. Therefore, people could be voting directly on certain issues instead of going through representative government.
Let’s take a look at the 2020 Artemis accords. They stipulate that “outer space is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means.”
Luckily or not, a government on Mars is most likely a scenario for the far future, which means that Elon Musk shouldn’t be too worried for now.