December 15, 2015

"The odor of class warfare has broken out over the notion of a commercial Mars colony."

examiner It started when Elon Musk, who is said to be planning to retire on the Red Planet, mused that World War III could ruin his plans to settle Mars by destroying the Earth or at least damaging civilization sufficiently that space exploration has to be put off indefinitely. by Mark Whittington

'Newsweek, taking up the theme of another sort of planetary disaster, accused Musk and other space-minded billionaires of plotting to abandon the planet to the ravages of global warming while they go to Mars to live the good life.

'The idea that commercial space, whether it is space tourism or private colonies on Mars, is an evil plot by the One Percent to leave the toiling masses behind to die is not a new one. Matt Damon, whose optimistic movie about space exploration “The Martian” attracted such critical acclaim and lots of audiences, also starred in a movie called “Elysium” based just on that theme.

'Indeed, NASA has been hit from time to time by the class warriors. The Apollo program was truncated, in part, because activists and politicians claimed that the money being spent to land on the moon would better be spent succoring the poor. We stopped going to the moon, but somehow poverty persisted.

'Space buffs of a libertarian bent have maintained that one advantage that commercial space has over NASA is that it takes space exploration out of the realm of politics. Surely no one would object to people going to Mars if Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos pay for it?'

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