In this post, I am going to talk about what I think will happen to the colony of Mars and how that will effect the story world that I developed.
First. Some information about Mars.
Mars is cold. Duh. It also has a very small atmosphere with no magnetosphere. Meaning that the solar wind has stripped the planet of its atmosphere over the course of a billion or so years. It also has no air pressure and is regularly blasted with solar radiation.
Mars does have water on it. Very important. It was also wet at some point in its history. Meaning that it was warm at one point.
The first colonists settle on the surface of mars in pre-fab shelters. They do bring with them very sophisticated 3D printers so that they can manufacture items from the resources that Mars provides.
There goal at this point is self-suffencincy. How do they provide all of there needs without relying on Earth. The trip from Earth opens up only once every two years to get help. We have all seen ‘The Martian”. If not, go see it. That is probably the most accurate dipection of what living on Mars would be like. It does get some stuff wrong, but it is a movie. Forgive it.
After nearly a decade of work and a population nearing a hundred colonists, the colony still hasn’t reached self-sufficiency. It’s corporate backers, are getting worried. They had planned for a span of 15 years before they could start sending resources back to Earth. Now 10 years was up and they had still not gotten close.
They have a stockpile of food and water. Oxygen tanks full of breathable air and shelter for there current population.
The problem with the situation is that they are having a problem of building new structures to house new colonists, or expand food production, or to build anything. They are having to spend a large amount of resources and time to build the structures to be radiation proof. The lack of the planet’s magnetosphere is the source of the problem.
How is that a problem with self-sufficiency? Population of a settlement without anyone from the outside should be at a large enough number to be viable. Scientist call this minimum viable population. It is usually used for wild animals, but it works for space colonies as well.
If the colony doesn’t get to at least 2000 people, then there is a risk of genetic issues as the generations roll by. Without the additional people they will not have the manpower to start sending resources back to Earth for profit.
The colony discovers some caverns nearby. These caverns are spread out over the course of a thousand square kilometers and some go deep into the Martian crust. They discover that the Martian crust shields the caverns from solar radiation.
The colonists decide to move the colony from the surface to the caverns. They decide to live underground.
The caverns allow for the construction of the colony to happen at a faster pace. Each piece of the structure needs less material as it is only holding in the pressure for people to live and not keeping radiation out.
The colony expands exponentially. The population shoots up and by the year 20, the colony has it’s 2000 people.
Then its population really expands. With the invention of a magnetic launcher, the cost of space travel drops to about $500 per kg. That open’s up space travel for more people. Nations finally get off there butt, other corporations are founded, and the single Mars colony become 12 separate colonies each with it’s own backer.
I will leave the history lesson here. But the main question is, how does this affect my story that takes place a few hundred years from now?
And the answer is absolutely nothing. It will never show up on the page. The only thing that it does is that it creates the culture and people of Mars. You will see some similar aspects that will distinctly shape the people until the time of my stories.
That part does have a big deal in the present date of my story world.
I will stop there for today. Tomorrow I will go through some of the different aspects of Martian Culture that is adopted over the years and some of the details on the changes to the colony.