Colonize Mars is set in the near future (starting in the 2030s) and follows the story of the fictional Interplanetary Space Alliance (ISA). The ISA was founded in 2022 as a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) for space exploration. The ISA’s current initiative is to create a self-sustaining city on Mars.
Even though the characters, locations, and narratives are fictional, they are meant to reflect a plausible future for the aerospace industry given the disruptive nature of decentralized technology. The ISA showcases the power of DAOs and how they can be used to accelerate industries, such as aerospace, to accomplish lofty goals such as humans-to-Mars missions.
To make humanity a free, fair, and multiplanetary species.
The ISA’s core values are summed up in the acronym MARS:
Multiplanetary - Humanity needs to expand into space.
Autonomous - That expansion will be driven by the active participation of invested individuals, regardless of nationality, ethnicity, gender, age, or profession.
Redistributive - When ISA efforts lead to financial gains, those will not be siphoned off by outside shareholders, but returned to the individuals and communities which created that value.
Sustainable - ISA efforts on any planet, including Earth, should heal and strengthen the environment, rather than stripping and exploiting it.
Colonizing Mars is the first step in the ISA’s goal of making humanity interplanetary.
While the first years, or even decades, of a Mars colony may not be directly profitable, the ISA has a suite of other businesses to cover immediate cash flow. The position of the Alliance is that the Mars Colony is a long-term investment that will eventually pay out many times over, both directly, in terms of earnings, and indirectly, in terms of the humanity’s continued survival and ability to impact the rest of the cosmos.
The ISA sees returns coming from many avenues:
Mars is going to require ingenuity to survive. Just as the exploration of space created huge leaps in computational and materials science, Mars will push humans to invent, to solve, and to improve. This innovation will lead to valuable IP, which will slowly but surely underwrite the cost of Mars Colony.
Just going to Mars will result in discoveries that will deepen our understanding of the universe. From a pure science perspective, building the tools required to get to Mars and examining the universe from that profoundly different point of view will necessarily lead to new insights in disciplines from astronomy and physics to psychology and medical science.
Interest in STEM spiked 300% when humans landed on the moon, and we owe much of our current way of life, from mobile phones to hybrid cars, to that explosion of people educated to work in tech fields.
Bankers and lawyers like the Medicis and Calvin laid the groundwork for much of contemporary civilization - but school children know the names Columbus, Galileo, Magellan. Explorers are giants in history whose exploits can inspire use for centuries. The first colonists to move beyond earth will have their names written indelibly in the history of humanity.
There is another, less talked about agenda for the Colonize Mars program. In a sense, all of humanity's eggs are in one basket, and that’s Earth. In the age of sudden climate change (and with nuclear weapons still in silos) Earth is still one bad step from an extinction event. A self-sustaining colony on Mars could provide humanity with a desperately needed insurance policy. To truly safeguard the species, we would want to diversify even further, setting up colonies through the solar system to the asteroid belt, the moons of Jupiter, even some day the stars. But Mars is the first step, the place we will learn to take each step that follows.
Inevitably, concerns will arise if any national power comes to have singular control over the Moon or Mars. It raises the specter of using such a base as an orbital offensive platform to lob armaments–even rocks–at the Earth.
It is in the interest of every nation not to allow any other planet or moon in the solar system to come under the control of a single power. The ISA’s crowdsourced funding model and transnational, distributed stakeholder network by its nature inherently reduces the influence and threat of particular nation states using space to dominate other nations, corporations, or peoples.
The ISA may have started as a small DAO, but its ability to inspire people around the globe - along with a savvy and talented group of founders and a little bit of luck, have made it humanity’s best chance to colonize Mars, and one day reach for the stars.
Next, let’s explore the ISA’s history, founders, and what it looks like today as we approach the arrival of Mission Four.