Is this ethical?
We want to emphasize a number of issues:
- A ‘one way’ trip (or, in other words: emigration) to Mars is currently the only way we can get people on Mars within the next 20 years. This in no way excludes the possibility of a return flight at some point in the future. It is likely that technological progress will make this less complex down the line, not to mention the fact that once the planet is inhabited, it will be that much easier to build the returning rocket there. This means that in time it could be possible for astronauts to return to Earth at some point in the future, should they want to do so;
- Mars One will take every possible precaution to ensure the journey to Mars will be as safe as can be;
- All those emigrating will do so because they choose to. They will receive extensive preparatory training so that they fully know what to expect. Astronauts that have passed the selection process can always choose not to join the mission at any time, and at any point during preparations. Back-up teams will be ready to replace any crew member that drops out, even at the very last minute.
- Our first and foremost priority is to offer the people on Mars as high a quality of life as we can, which encompasses the following:
- Unlimited access to email and other communication channels to keep in touch with friends and family back on Earth;
- As many exploration and experimentation opportunities as are available;
- The means to build and develop as much as they can themselves. They can work on the expansion of their Mars base and use the new rooms as they wish.
- Our second priority is to have at least four people emigrate every two years, so that the community continues to grow.
Despite all of the above, it still sounds rather extreme nowadays to only offer a one way trip, but it bears mentioning that thousands of Europeans agreed to do just that – they took all they owned and moved to Australia, for example. That agreement did not come with a return ticket. The boat went back, but that did not mean they could afford to go with it. Maybe they could buy another ticket after saving up for a few years – just like our astronauts could build a rocket after some time.
The emigrants of the 60s could never have imagined that, 30 years later, they would be able to fly back to Europe for a small amount. Perhaps, at some point, a trip to Mars will become just as commonplace.
Considering all of the above, we do indeed think it is ethically conscientious to allow people to emigrate to Mars.
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