The UAE, whose space agency was only just established three years ago, has officially declared that not only will they enter the “space race” to Mars, but they claim they will settle humans there by the year 2117.
The "Mars 2117" project will develop an Emirati and international team of scientists to push the human exploration of Mars in years to come. pic.twitter.com/5ujxvyC8As
— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) February 14, 2017
The UAE’s venture is aptly called Mars Project 2117, and RT reports, “The long-term project will focus on boosting the UAE’s space research capacity, with a view to making the wealthy Persian Gulf country one of the top players vying for a place on Mars.”
2117… It is the kind of grand, sweeping statement that’s super easy to make, considering no one alive today will be around to call them on it if they fail to deliver 100 years from now.
But the UAE is late to the hypothetical Mars colony game. So many other nations are already in this race and with much earlier stated goals.
As previously reported, NASA has already been discussing the idea of Americans living on Mars sometime in the 2030s, the first step to which they say will be landing people successfully on asteroids which they hope to accomplish by 2025.
Beating out NASA’s goal, however, is the Netherlands-based nonprofit group Mars One who claims they’ll establish a human colony on Mars by 2027, and they’re reportedly going to start rocketing off the construction materials necessary here shortly.
Still earlier are Mars goals put forth by SpaceX billionaire Elon Musk who has said colonization of Mars is necessary to preserve humanity in the event something catastrophic goes down here on Earth:
“I think there is a strong humanitarian argument for making life multi-planetary,” Musk told Aeon magazine when asked why we should focus on Mars when there are so many problems facing people here on Earth, “in order to safeguard the existence of humanity in the event that something catastrophic were to happen, in which case being poor or having a disease would be irrelevant, because humanity would be extinct.”
Meanwhile, Amazon owner Jeff Bezos says we should do it “because it’s cool”.
While science fiction makes the idea intriguing, the government of Mars — which is currently being referred to as the Mars Secretariat and sounds a lot like the UN — is already being planned out, making the environment of the red planet a lot less inviting and much more hostile sounding than it already was.
And on that note, if people really do make it there in the next 100 years, the one thing we can likely expect on Mars by 2117 is the first Martian war.
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