September 10, 2023 Most nights, over the past few months, I am on Mars.* I travel by rover, from tent city to tent city, those vast pressurized dome habitations where we can ditch our helmets and insulated suits and stroll down simulated boulevards, through stone medinas, and along lofty corniches overlooking dusty canyons. In gravity a third of Earth’s, I am light on my feet, somewhat wobbly, if not drunk on the unimaginable experience of life on Mars. In this time, humans have colonized the red planet and, like on Earth, we have labored to change it, to make it into our own image of what a habitable planet should and could be. On this Mars several decades into the future, we have warmed the atmosphere, altered its gaseous composition to be nearly breathable, melted the subterranean glaciers and pumped the water into great seas and outflows, bioengineered species of lichen and alpine vegetation to survive and reproduce in the chasms and crevasses. We have mapped it, given its topographical features names like Hellas Basin, Olympus Mons, Vastitas Borealis. In a word, we have
“I dreamed I saw the silver spaceship coming in the yellow haze of the sun…
flying mother nature’s seed to a new home…” Neil Young
Great piece, Jeremy!