Scoot: American astronauts would be illegals on Mars
Last month’s 45th anniversary of our moon landing rekindled the patriotic spirit that Americans felt when two men planted an American flag there. For years during the Cold War, Russia was ahead of the U.S. in the space race, but America caught up and passed the Russians; landing on the moon was a final score of sorts. America won.
Recalling the incredible pride in that moment – some Americans have begun talking about the feelings of patriotism that would be inspired by sending Americans to Mars.
ULL Professor Dr. Ray Boudreaux attracted national news when he proposed a possible solution to the bone loss suffered by humans in space. Bone mass is reduced by 1% to 2% for each month spent in space. The trip to Mars would take 3 years, so the loss of all that bone mass would be a significant problem. Dr. Boudreaux has proposed a bone-loss treatment drug along with resistance exercise by using pneumatic-powered equipment in space.
During the 2012 presidential election, candidate Newt Gingrich described himself as a visionary with plans for a massive new space program that included establishing a permanent colony on the moon – declaring part of the moon as U.S. territory – with colonists petitioning for statehood status. The Gingrich space plan also included sending Americans to Mars. (And he wonders why he didn’t win the nomination!)
It has been determined that there is no life on the moon – but the possibility of life on Mars has not been ruled out. The idea of colonizing the moon and then going onto Mars got me to thinking about the parallels between space exploration and our current border controversy.
Mars might be a peaceful place that offers better opportunities for Americans and their children and a place to go to get away from crime and violence on our planet. Traveling the long distance to Mars might be considered worth the risk for a better life.
If there is intelligent life on Mars and if we did land on the red planet – would that make Americans “illegals?” If there is a population on Mars we would be entering their atmosphere – their border – with Martians viewing us as a species that is illegally entering their planet?
If there is talk radio on Mars, I can imagine many of the Martian hosts condemning Americans for crossing into their atmosphere for hopes of a better life. There might be talk about the burden that we would place on the Martian government – from abusing their health care system to enrolling our children in their schools.
The leader of Mars would be pressured to secure the Martian atmosphere, and to stop Americans from illegally entering their planet with no visible means of support. Desperate for work and willing to work for less, the newcomers would send Martians into a rage over lost jobs. Martian political candidates would campaign on the theme of securing the atmosphere and stopping Americans from taking advantage of a better life on Mars.
Americans might make the difficult and dangerous voyage to Mars seeking to escape the battles over religious beliefs and attempts to force everyone to agree on certain moral values. We would not be going to Mars to establish as religion – rather to escape religious controversy.
There was a time when the New World – America – was a distant and unknown as Mars is to us today. But if Americans went to another planet in search of a better life, greater opportunities and freedom from violence and today’s most heated controversies – would that make us any different from those who are criticized for doing the same thing when they come to America?