The Martian Trust

It's Time for a New Space Programme. [New Zealand Now, Global in October]

This Way To Mars

The Martian Trust exists to do something obvious (Mars), by engaging the obvious people (space enthusiasts), and run from the obvious place (New Zealand). Sound daft? That’s because we’ve been numbed by decades of doing space daftly. It’s time for a change.

 

The Obvious Thing: A Mars Base

What is life? What is humanity to life? These questions motivate our creation myths, philosophies, and sciences. We may never answer them, but we’ve always tried, and the next place we’ll try is Mars. At Mars, these questions become, Did life evolve on Mars? and Can humanity expand to Mars? The obvious thing is to build a self-sustaining research base on Mars, dedicate it to the search for Martian life, and, in the process, find out if human Martians are possible.

 

The Obvious People: Space Enthusiasts

Space enthusiasts cross ethnic, national, age, income, and political boundaries. The first person to see the heavens as part of his or her reality was the first of us. Our storytellers – Verne, Wells, Bradbury, Clarke, Le Guin … Roddenberry, Liu – connect us. We now number at least one hundred million and our annual spending is a hundred times more than what’s needed to buy a really cool Mars base.

 

The Obvious Place: New Zealand

Nations justify space exploration by claiming it enhances their prestige, technological prowess, and educational attainment. Those things don’t require space exploration, which makes a weak argument for space exploration. Recall that the Cold War’s Space Race put just a dozen men on the Moon, and no one’s been there for 45 years. That is daft. If space enthusiasts are going to make a Mars base happen because exploration matters, then our effort needs to operate from a place that’s free from national space rivalries, a place that’s liked and trusted by everyone, a place like New Zealand.

 

Something wonderful is about to happen …

The Martian Trust is a charitable trust board incorporated in New Zealand. Our goal is to be a global community of space enthusiasts that funds and directs the establishment of a self-sustaining research base on Mars. Our approach is to connect the consumption and education interests of space enthusiasts to this goal. We won’t be a conventional charity – seeking donations so that a small group can do what it thinks is right. Rather, we’ll be a community of millions of members, governed by these members in accordance with the money, energy, and ideas that each adds to the community.

It’s time to get underway and the best way to start is with a core of New Zealand members. To convince space enthusiasts everywhere, we really should convince Kiwis that New Zealand is the right place for The Martian Trust.

This Way to Mars is a three-month campaign to introduce The Martian Trust to New Zealand, sign up a core local membership, and let the world watch so that space enthusiasts everywhere know what’s about to happen. There’s a special website where New Zealand residents can register and participate in the early community. There’s a PledgeMe page where some very nice prizes are on offer. Then, at the end of the three months, the early New Zealand members will nominate and choose one of the ten Founding Trustees of The Martian Trust.

Everyone is invited to look. Kiwis are invited to join now. We’ll get to everyone else come October.

 

Kia Ora!