If You Want To Live On Mars, Be Prepared To Build Your Own Society
A settlement more than 60 million miles from Earth would have to sustain its own government and economy.By Evan Thomas | September 28, 2016
We've now heard Elon Musk's plan for setting up a permanent colony on Mars. At more than 60 million miles from Earth, such a settlement is going to have to be its own functioning society. So how will it handle things like property rights, government and the economy?
The rules will probably change once people start living on Mars, but for now, we have a starting point: the United Nations' Outer Space Treaty.
No Mars colonist will own the ground they stand on, regardless of who launches the first colony ships. Articles I and II of the treaty say celestial objects — including Mars — are "the province of all mankind" and aren't subject to public or private ownership.