Mars Habitats Before Orbiting Space Colonies: Humanity Needs Permanent Presence Off-Earth

Taminad Crittenden
Non-violence
Published in
5 min readJun 11, 2024

--

To this day, many people still believe it is a better idea to establish rotating space colonies such as O’Neill cylinders (best depicted in the beautifully hopeful final scenes of the classic 2013 science fiction movie Interstellar) or ring habitats (such as in the computer game Halo and and in the dystopian film Elysium) first, and only after that build colonies on planetary/moon surfaces such as Mars.

The free-floating, orbiting* space habitat first approach could easily doom humanity’s space efforts and strand humanity on Earth forever, because it does not establish a permanent human presence off-Earth, which is needed for our long-term survival.

As Elon Musk points out criticizing Jeff Bezos for prioritizing free-floating space habitats over planetary surfaces, space habitats will require a far higher degree of continuous resource resupply than planetary surface habitats.

Humanity can see evidence of this resource constraint when considering the patterns by which humanity colonized islands versus mainland areas. There are numerous small islands around the world today with small permanent populations that theoretically could sustain themselves (just like free-floating space habitats could theoretically sustain themselves), but which as a practical matter would face complete depopulation with all humans leaving if these modern island communities were to stop receiving continuous resupply from the mainland.

--

--

Taminad Crittenden
Non-violence

Analyst. Tip me on https://ko-fi.com/taminadcrittenden or send me some Ethereum digital currency at at this address: 0x5ffe3e60a7f85a70147e800c37116b3ad97afd5e