Going to Mars is not just a technological feat; even more so, it is a challenge of the human spirit, intellect, and community. Our project not only sought to understand the logistical and technical challenges of a mission to Mars, but also the human challenges: through our interdisciplinary, modular-based team approach throughout the year long project.
We examined a series of risk-based decision scenarios involving the settling of Mars, considered from a variety of vantage points. As with prior DeCIPHER projects, we began with a 6 week “bootcamp” of key concepts, and then delved into team research. Over the course of the year long project, students role-played an array of groups preparing for and undertaking the mission to settle Mars, such as government agencies, private enterprises in space transport, mining or other sectors, nonprofit groups, and the settlers themselves. We examined benefits and risks from a variety of vantage points.
Each key decision point was evaluated by sub-teams, each of whom brought different knowledge and motivations to the questions of objectives, tradeoffs, and solutions. We considered each decision in a “module,” or a set of several dedicated class meetings for each of the selected decision. Sub-teams rotated between different stakeholder groups as the project progressed through modules to provide a broader vantage point for each participant. Both the boot camp and the modules included team members' reflections, and anticipatory thoughts on how these issues may be applied in analyzing the Mars settlement. The graduate project manager coordinated progress, and each of the thematic modules include sub-team advisors who were faculty members or post-docs.
successful mission to Mars requires years of planning from various organizations: government entities, private corporations, scientists, sociologists, economists, religious organizations, and many other disciplines. As the possibility of settling Mars becomes less remote, these various actors must begin coming together to envision the next great effort in human exploration. Our team has modeled this interdisciplinary approach to develop a set of deliverables for the public to begin to understand both the greatness of this challenge and the possible reward of such an endeavor.
LEarn More about our Research
We encourage you to explore this website, and challenge your understanding of what a mission to Mars requires!
Collaboration amongst nations, scientists, business leaders, and stakeholders is both one of the challenges of a Martian Migration and one of the strengths of humanity when we have a common purpose. We want to thank the following guest speakers, lecturers, and experts who contributed to our understanding of the challenges and opportunities of settling Mars throughout our project.