Valley End by Bryan Versteeg

It’s Time to Leave Home
In the coming decade science fiction will become science fact as humans leave the confines of the Earth-Moon system and make homes among the asteroids and planet Mars.

For more than one hundred years there has been popular talk of this next great adventure. Now, finally, we have the technology, motivation, and momentum. Private sector advances in fuel energy density, reusable space craft, and easily deployed habitations will make it economically feasible and technically possible to build communities on Mars.

By asking questions about who we are and where we come from, we can more clearly look to the future of human space exploration. The intent is to recognize patterns in human social behavior in the context of isolated, small group dynamics such that we might help guide, or at least anticipate the challenges of the next wave of human exploration and evolution.

This effort might be built upon three methodologies:

  1. Story telling as a means of developing intuitive models for visualizing potential outcomes—including reference to science fiction;
  2. Historic accounts of Earth-bound explorations which lead to both small and large scale migration and in some cases, the permanent settlement of (re)discovered lands;
  3. Mathematical models (SIMOC) built upon decades of research data. This will enable us to look to a future on Mars (or other isolated human communities) and project potential outcomes as these communities grow from being fully dependent upon Earth supply ships to being fully independent and self-sustaining.

We have a unique opportunity to learn from the mistakes of our past, to improve our prospect for the future as we aim for the stars.” —Kai Staats, August 2013