Astronaut shot from above with reflective surface on red dirt Mars environment

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.

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.cokada/E+/Getty Images

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.”

TO READ THE FULL INTERVIEW SUBSCRIBE TO MUSK READS+.

Here is what you will gain from subscribing to MUSK READS+:

  • Three emails per week, enabling fans to go deeper into the week’s stories.
  • Original interviews and reporting, longform analysis, previews, and recaps of major events, including earnings calls and more.
  • Community-focused extras like responses to reader mail, an upcoming event calendar, and notable anniversaries.
  • An archive of previous subscriber-only content, so you can easily read back over what you might have missed.
  • Promotional deals and offers.
  • Supporting original, independent journalism.

MUSK READS+ is a fully independent operation. We are not Elon Musk, nor are we employed by him. Our job is to report the events we find important, giving you the inside look at the worlds of space rockets, electric cars, clean energy, and more. It means first-hand accounts of a SpaceX rocket launch, Tesla insights from third-party analysts, and more.

If you want to support us in our mission, and receive original interviews and analysis, consider contributing with a subscription.