Questioning a new world: Should I move to Mars, by Hannah Harvey

It would be quite cold compared to earth, darker as well; the feel underneath your feet would be like walking on giant cobblestones. You could see the stars up in the sky and you might be able to see another planet. The stars would look like little glowing balls of white and the sky would be partly light and partly dark.

The food would float away as there is no gravity, so it would have to be mushed up and put in special containers so that it wouldn’t make a fast exit. Maybe you could grow food on Mars if you’d taken the right equipment with you, like tomatoes and cabbages. Once you’d really learnt to grow things on Mars you could grow wheat for bread.

I think that if you moved to Mars in about 50 years’ time you could produce some technology that made oxygen supplies. I wonder if over time your body would adapt so you wouldn’t need a space suit? Although you would need something to stop you from floating away – maybe if you attached yourself to your house with a tether.

There might already be living organisms or plants on Mars. There could be a plant on Mars that was poisonous to humans. Or there might be a plant that could offer us healing or help us adapt our bodies to living on Mars, such as raising our body temperature.

There might be animals already living on Mars which you could keep as company, or they might be edible if they were like earth livestock. Also, you might need to negotiate with them on how you would live together and co-operate with each other. Or you could take some Earth animals with you so long as they were small, and you could make them custom space suits.

Once Mars was really terraformed it could also be a holiday destination so a travelling couple would still see other human beings. The tourists could come in bullet rockets like bullet trains but built for space travel. They could come on Majestic Mars Tours, all-inclusive including your custom-made space suit. 

If you moved off-world on your own then you would have complete freedom in making your new world, you could get it exactly how you liked it –  it would be like moving house but with a whole planet rather than just a house to design and make homely. But you could only take so much with you.    

In some ways it would be really frightening on your own as no-one has experienced living on Mars before. But for some people it would be quite an adventure. It would depend on whether you could make it a round trip or whether once you were there you couldn’t come back.

It would also feel quite lonely on your own on Mars because at first only one or two people could go up there to make sure Mars was habitable first. If something went wrong it would be harder to contact someone to help solve the problem. It would be helpful to send a couple who had completely different skills, as then you would have twice the potential to solve a problem.

You would lose the privileges of being on Earth in the modern era because it would be hard, if not impossible, to take everything on Earth with you. There could be no wasting of resources, at least at the start, and you would have to be inventive with what you had taken.

If you went as a couple then you would really have to know you were compatible before you went, as if you fell out you would be deprived of human contact – there would be no-one else to talk to.

Whether you went on your own or as a couple, going to Mars to live would be a rare experience. If you were a writer then your story would be unique.

Critical reflection:

I hope that this piece, influenced by the current Sc-Fi piece I am working on, makes readers think about moving to Mars more on a practical level. Both in the larger Sc-Fi piece I am working on and in this short entry, I’ve tried to move away from the thoughts of alien life forms that can be compared to humans and instead as if people were comparing similarities and differences between life on Mars to life on Earth. 

I wrote this piece whilst having recently moved to a new place myself, thinking that some of the questions asked about new places to live on earth would be the same as we would question if we moved to Mars. We want to know, for example, the weather and the food sources wherever we end up living.  

This whole piece was composed whilst looking out of my new window, pretending to interview someone as if they were considering moving to Mars. I was trying to determine what they might ask me and what I might ask them so they could make their final choice, which gave the title to my piece: Questioning a new world: Should I move to Mars?

My name is Hannah and I am currently starting an MA in Creative Writing at York St John. This is part of my exploration of Sci-Fi, a new genre of writing for me. I can usually be found in my personal ‘library’ enjoying books written by a variety of different authors.