Life on Mars is a concept that’s synonymous with space travel. While we're still far away from forming colonies on the Red Planet, it's still a goal for astronauts. But what would happen if we actually became Mars colonists?
Reported by The Independent, a new study has shown that successful Mars colonists would likely reject Earth. However, that rejection is only due to current restrictions in our current era of technology.
Earth Mission Control won't be able to control Mars colonists
This outcome comes after a 120-day isolation test as part of Project Sirius. The Russian experiment took a collection of “colonists” and stimulated living on another planet. While the colonists started off well enough, over time their behaviour took a turn for the worst.
Project Sirius tasked colonists with living as if they were part of a Martian away team. Due to the distance between Earth and Mars, simple communications between the team and Mission Control took over around 5 minutes.
Study co-author Dmitry Shved revealed that the crew worked extremely well together. “The communication characteristics of crew members with different personalities, genders and cultures became more similar during the mission," he said.
However, as the crew grew friendlier towards each other, they turned against Mission Control — Earth. The gap in communication between Earth and Mars meant that simple questions wouldn't get answers for five minutes. This led to “mistrust and breaking of the established information circuit between the crew and the MCC”.
Both sides were upset
The study explains that both sides were unhappy at the length of wait between responses. The study claims “both sides became more and more dissatisfied with these contacts”. Additionally, the detachment of the Mars colonists from the rest of humanity meant they were more reliant on each other.
However, this level of detachment is dangerous. Project Sirius showed that the crew became resistant “to the recommendations of the mission control”. Over generations, it's expected that these detachments will result in turning against Earth.
Unfortunately, for Martians, it's expected that the colonists will still be dependant on Earth by the time detachment happens. As the colonies will still need Earth for supplies, “the probability of severance of diplomatic relations seems rather low."