The Martian Way

SpaceX insider takes us to the heart of Mars' radical constitution

A constitution for Mars' future government is further along than you think.

Astronaut shot from above with reflective surface on red dirt Mars environment
Jonathan Knowles/Photodisc/Getty Images

Although SpaceX is still far from landing on Mars (let’s land on the Moon first), that sci-fi future might creep up sooner than you think. For that reason, SpaceX and the big brains behind it already have a Mars constitution in the works. Well, sort of.

Martian John Adams.

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Mars is still a free planet

David Anderman served as SpaceX’s general counsel from July 2019 to December 2020. In October 2020, SpaceX declared Mars a “free planet in the terms and conditions of its Starlink internet service.

“It was a little bit tongue in cheek, just a little bit,” Anderman tells Inverse. “But at the same time, it's a real thing. It's going to be a real issue.”

Anderman is now advising the makers of the upcoming reality TV show Space Hero, which plans to send a lucky winner to the International Space Station (see Musk Reads+ #61 to find out more about that project).

But he’s also started drafting ideas for how a Mars city might govern itself.

Want to know more of Anderman’s Mars predictions, where the Outer Space Treaty might leave Mars law, and a shocking prediction for the next four years? Read the full interview, only in MUSK READS+.

Your next anniversary is on Mars

SpaceX plans to send the first humans to the planet later this decade, with a long-term goal of a self-sustaining city on Mars of one million people by 2050.

That means, in just 30 years’ time, humanity’s first extraterrestrial settlement could face some fundamental questions.

“You could have the equivalent of a constitutional convention in order to talk about these things,” he says. “And it will be a robust debate about what makes the most sense.”

Anderman wants to get ahead: he wants to get us talking about it now.

“I think we really need to start having those conversations in earnest,” he says. “It's not just theoretical anymore. And it won't be theoretical in five years.”


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