Fear of Phobos Falling
On learning about the inescapable fate of the Martian moon in this week’s episode of Liftoff, I shared the podcast hosts’ initial reaction of a little sadness — Mars has been unlucky on so many levels already: having lost volcanism, plate tectonics, magnetic field, liquid water and most of its atmosphere, now even its non-spherical moons are destined to a (geologically) short lifespan.
Then I wondered what the consequences of this knowledge would be for future human settlers on Mars. Knowing that a giant pile of rubble 6000 km over your head will eventually collapse might get some people uneasy. Since fear of our own moon is an existing condition here on earth, called selenophobia, would this new fear in Mars be also called phobophobia? It would certainly give the word a much more literal meaning than president Roosevelt could have imagined.
On the plus side, I would hope the fear of falling or dropping things among those newly arrived Martians would be lessened by the 0.38 gravity.