There are some pretty ambitious people in the world today and one of them is obviously Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk. Although there have been a couple of flybys and non-human landing on Mars, The first crewed to and fro Mars Mission is proposed for the 2030s. NASA predicts that the distance of 225 million kilometers between the Earth and Mars will be broken in the next 20 years. However, for many people, it is not enough to establish a permanent base on Mars. We also need to consider how to manage it and let it play an active role.
Elon Musk on Mars: Proposes a system of government
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, an American space exploration technology company, is one of the people who plan how humans will live on alien planets in the future. His ultimate dream is to establish a permanent human base on Mars, but establish independence there. However, this “country” will face huge legal challenges. In the SpaceX “Starlink” satellite service user agreement, we have a preliminary understanding of the future Mars society by Musk.
The terms of service read: “For services provided on Mars, services delivered to Mars by interstellar spacecraft or other colonial spacecraft, all parties shall recognize that Mars is a free planet, and no Earth government has the power to declare or claim sovereignty over Mars. Therefore, when there is a dispute on Mars, it will be resolved through the principle of autonomy-based on good faith”.
Musk had previously considered what such a future government would look like. During the 2018 SXSW conference, Musk told the audience…“Most likely, the Mars government will be formed in a directly democratic form. People will vote directly on issues instead of making decisions through a representative government. I think this might be better because direct democracy has a much lower chance of corruption than representative democracy”.
Elon Musk on Mars: Lawyers kicks against his proposition
However, lawyers expressed doubts about SpaceX’s ability to establish an independent “Martian” nation. In fact, many people believe that SpaceX’s provisions in its Starlink user agreement are not very different from the space treaties over the years.
Randy Sgar of Hogan Lovells Law Firm said…“All space treaties believe that everyone on earth has the same rights and responsibilities to make space something that all of us can share”. For example, the 2020 Artemis accords stipulate…”No country can claim sovereignty, use or occupy, or occupy space in any other way”.
Siegel said that Musk may have taken a small step in building a Martian state. He said: “Musk may be trying to lay the groundwork for an independent Mars constitution, as he did on electric cars and reusable launch vehicles. Is there any precedent or enforceability? My answer is obviously no…”
Frans Von Der Dunk, an expert on space law at the Nebraska College of Law, discussed this issue from a more realistic perspective. He pointed out that we may still need many years to reach Mars, let alone consider establishing a country there.
Von De Dank said: “We must respect the real scientists. Many of them believe that it will take ten years to reach Mars. Others believe that it may take 100 years or more. But in my opinion, between these two a certain year between time periods is most likely. However, due to difficulties in interstellar communication, Mars may soon seek self-regulation”.