“Why can’t there be others? The real question is if life as we know it on Earth – what life is or are we just one specific example born from a much faster tapestry of possibilities that are exemplified elsewhere.”
At the end of their mission, the scientists will leave the habitat behind. Humans will then ask the next question, ‘Will there be life on Mars?
To answer this, we must establish a series of habitats all in one place, linking them up with the goal of supporting exploration but also do engineering research, says Zubrin.
“[This will] advance our capacity to use Martian resources from just making fuel and oxygen out of the atmosphere to drawing water out of the soil, growing plants, extracting geothermal power for the subsurface – making bricks, plastics, ceramics, glasses, metals, wires, and tubes,” he says.
“If we can move up to that level of craft, then Mars becomes habitable. The thing that defines whether an environment is habitable or not is only partially a function of the objective character of the environment. It’s largely a function of you – of what you have in your mind, the level of craft you have.
“Two people could be stuck in the wilderness; one could starve half to death and the other could live there indefinitely. It’s because one can understand and perceive how to use the resources that are there and to the other they are invisible.”
What we are doing by showing that Mars is within our reach is illustrating that the resources that are potentially available to humanity are not limited to planet Earth to be fought over by nations for a shrinking piece of the pie, he says.
“Rather they are available in unlimited amounts to humanity willing to use its creative capacities to create an ever greater future. This is a different vision which is why it is one of the most critical things we can do. It’s only in a universe of unlimited resources that all men can be brothers.”
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