15 thoughts on “Elon’s Martian Terms Of Service”

  1. Even if it does violate any present treaty, for the forseeable future, you will need to hitch a ride on a Spacex rocket to get there to enforce anything. Until we find out who goes on whose equipment, a legal framework for off-Earth behavior is still science fiction.

  2. Even if it does violate any present treaty, for the forseeable future, you will need to hitch a ride on a Spacex rocket to get there to enforce anything.

    Nonsense. Any Mars settlement will be out on a very long limb and terrestrial authorities can shake that limb until the settlers toe the line. Any interruptions and/or delays in Starship flights will make the settlers very cooperative.

    1. Heck, just cut off their oxygen!

      I think some of the kinks the Earth politicians will encounter is:

      They don’t have any personal reason to even use Mars in a sentence, much less try to control it, anymore than they involve themselves with what’s happening with a base camp on Mt. Everest.

      There’s no “upside” to upsetting the Martian settlers, who are going to have a billion followers on social media. Whoever is there wins any debate because their voice is going to be unbelievably loud.

      1. There’s no “upside” to upsetting the Martian settlers, who are going to have a billion followers on social media.

        If the choice is between upsetting Martian settlers or upsetting China the Martian settlers are screwed. The NBA, its teams, and its players have more social followers than any Martian settlement is likely to have and look how quickly they fell into line when China expressed its unhappiness over comments about Hong Kong.

        Musk can’t afford to give the big middle finger to anyone. That’s why he’s putting this trial balloon out there now to see whose feathers he might be ruffling.

      2. “Heck, just cut off their oxygen!”

        There’s no shortage of oxygen on Mars. It’s in all the rocks, it’s in the air (CO2). All it takes is energy (or photosynthesizing plants) to break it out. I suspect martian colonists would be enterprising in establishing such facilities. Whatever gonads-clamp the Earth maintains on the martians, I doubt that oxygen will be the crux of it.

  3. When I think about all movies I’ve seen and all the stories I’ve read that were based the Martian-Earth troubles I can’t help but crack a smile.

  4. I love the concept, but flinch when I read that David Anderman is SpaceX’s “chief counsel” on the matter. Don’t get me wrong, I love David Anderman. We’ve known each other and have been friends forever. But he’s shown a strong affinity to socialism, and a new constitution based on that would be a disaster. Unless it’s a different David Anderman. In which case….never mind.

  5. How Martian home owners associations lead to the independence of a new nation.

    The bit at the end is the most important and most mysterious part. Self sufficiency isn’t desirable even if it is possible. Trade and other interactions are what will allow any off-Earth society to thrive but if they are too weak, then trade could be a devastating weapon used against them. Think of a situation like the global oil market.

  6. What do Martians need from Earthlings and what Earthlings need from Martians?

    Why does any nation export, anything?

    It seems another nation is another market
    So customers in another nation wants the stuff, one is selling to
    your domestic market.
    If you are the Soviet Union, you buy grain, because the Soviet Union has screwed up it’s farming.
    OR if Martian are socialists, then there is not going to be markets on Mars and no one on Earth going to buy much of anything. And Martian will screw up their farming.
    If Martian have free markets, they could be more free, than any free markets on Earth. Though a problem is they are going to a small domestic market, or Martian could have larger markets on Earth than on Mars. Sort of have Oil State, problem.
    Or exports generally are a small part of a nation’s economy.
    Anyhow, assuming Martians are exporting and importing from Earth, what do they import from Earth.
    Or what do they import the Moon?
    Martian might want entertainment from Earth. There is idea that Earthlings could want entertainment from Mars. And either way, one doesn’t Earth’s gravity well being a problem.
    I tend to think what Martians sell is Mars real estate.
    And to sell Mars real estate one needs to improve the real estate, such as, make lakes on Mars.

  7. Rand, SpaceX launched, was it four astronauts to the International Space Station yesterday, and you didn’t post on that? How am I going to tell my jokes?

    The Dragon spacecraft in place of the walls covered in gauges and switches has this single, large touch screen. The problem is that if you want to turn on the automatic docking system, you have to “drill down” through 4 layers of menus. Also, if the cabin exceeds a certain temperature, you cannot turn the volume down on Mission Control.

    Speaking of the automatic docking, be careful about when and where you turn it on. It has been known to plow the Dragon into another spacecraft picking up spent upper stages.

    Seriously, people, NASA has been limited to purchasing expensive “rides” to the ISS on the cramped Soyuz that is limited to 3 people. The Dragon could accommodate 7, but that is only if you pay an extra 5 million dollars for the third row of seats. And there is a strict height limit on who you can seat back there.

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