Call for Mars Colonization by

-              N O T E    F O R      U F O N E T

Lyndon LaRouche is, without a doubt, the most controversial figure
ever produced since, for instance, Mussolini. He has been called
"a small time Hitler" by Irwin Suall, who was later sued by LaRouche
for this remark and was found innocent by a jury of LaRouche's peers.
In the past 20 years Lyndon LaRouche is, perhaps, the person who
has singlehandedly set back civilization's progress decades, via
racial hate, religious ignorance, and civil terrorism, through a
large private information-gathering service and political mechanations.
He is also extreamly bright (perhaps even brilliant), and when not
in manic, paranoidal, delusional savior mode, can be quite lucid.
The following article concerns a futuristic colonization of Mars.
For more information of the LaRouchite Cult, contact The Astro-Net.
-d rice.


 by Lyndon H. LaRouche

"What I am about to present to you are the highlights of
present U.S. plans for establishing a permanent colony on Mars by
approximately the year 2027 A.D.  The plans to be outlined here
are based on the two somewhat similar, but slightly differing
versions of the plan as developed by various U.S. specialists.
One plan is that first presented at a July 1985 conference in
honor of the space pioneer, Krafft Ehricke, who died at the end
of 1984.  The second plan, is one drafted by the U.S. Space
Commission, and presented approximately a year after the Krafft
Ehricke conference.  This presentation will emphasize the
approach laid out at the Krafft Ehricke memorial conference, but
it will also make use of important features of the proposals by
the U.S. Space Commission.

"For this purpose, I ask you to come with me, in your
imagination, to a Wednesday in September, in the year 2036
A.D., nine years after the Mars colony has been founded.
Starting from an imaginary television broadcast to Earth on 1800
hours London time, that day, let us look from that day and
year, back to the time of the United States' adoption of the
Mars colonization project, and trace each major step of the
project from the year 1989, up to the year 2027, the year the
first permanent colony on Mars is finally established.

"Those who have worked to prepare this presentation, have
thought that we must use our powers of imagination in this way.
It is thought, that we must focus attention on our destination
as we outline each step of a journey.  It seems to us, that
that is the only way this project, and its importance for all
mankind, can be properly understood.

"To present the project in this way,  it is necessary to
include some imaginary political figures and political events,
so that we might present this as a story.    However,  the
technical facts we use here represent the scientific and related
facts of the Mars colonization plan as those facts exist today."

                        THE WOMAN ON MARS

The BBC television studio's clock says that it is 1600 hours
in London,  on Wednesday,  September **, 2036 A.D.    From **
millions miles away,  on Mars,  a televised image travels **
minutes across space,  to be picked up by the giant geostationary
receiver hovering over the South Atlantic,  from where the signal
is relayed to other satelites,  reaching waiting disk-antennas
around the world.    A woman's face appears on the BBC screen.

The woman on the screen is in her late thirties.   The sight
of her familiar features brings expressions of admiration to the
viewing audiences now receiving this live broadcast around most
of the world.   She is Dr. Ellen Jones,  chief executive of the
Mars colony,  and the daughter of the famous space pioneer, Dr.
Walter Jones,  who headed the U.S.A.'s Mars-colonization program
from 2008 until his retirement in 2027.

"I bring you greetings from your 683,648 relatives and
friends living here on Mars,  and some very good news,"  she
begins.   "Our astrophysicists agree,  that with our latest
series of observations at our Cyclops III radiotelescope,  we
have solved at least a good part of the mystery of what you know
as black holes.   We are convinced that we are at the verge of
fundamentally new ideas about how our universe works."

The TV audience followed her five-minute televised report
with a scientific interest which would have been unimaginable
when the Mars-colonization mission was first launched by the
U.S.,  back in March 1989.

The 1990s flights of transatmospheric craft up to stations
in low Earth orbit,  had revived the spirit of the popularity of
space-exploration from the Apollo-project period of the 1960s.
After Earth's first geostationery space-terminal had been
completed near the end of the 1990s,  manned flights to the Moon
had sson become routine.   Over the 1990s,  the point was reached
that every school-child, not only in the U.S.,  Europe, and
Japan,  but throughout the world.  demanded to know everything
possible about space.

Beginning the 1990s,  fewer and fewer university students
attended courses in the social sciences,  as the physical
sciences,  including space biology,  took over the classrooms
almost completely.   Even at pre-school ages,  more and more
children,  asked what gift they wished for Christmas,  would
answer,  "a telescope."   As the industrialization of the Moon
began near the end of the Twenty-First Century's first decade, to
look up was to express optimism about the human race's future.
Space and the spirit of adventure became one and the same.

There had been a deeper quality of changes in attitudes.
What had been the most popular competitive sports of the
Twentieth Century became less popular,  and achievement in
swimming,  track and field,  and mountain-climbing the most
popular features of physical education programs.   "Keeping in
shape for space-travel," was the value which more and more
attached to physical education.

Twentieth-Century man would be astonished to know the new
way in which "spirit of adventure" was translated during the
early decades of the Twenty-First.   Some things Twentieth
Century man would have recognized.   Being the first to set foot
on some planetary body,  was of course a commonplace fantasy
among children and youth.   The difference was,  most teen-agers,
and some much younger,  already knew the real purpose of space-
exloration.   That purpose was,  to acquire knowledge which the
human race needed,  and could not gain without scientific
exploration of our universe in a way which could not be done
without travelling far beyond Earth's orbit.   The idea of
adventure,  was not a matter of simply getting to some strange
place out there.   Exciting adventure,  was to participate in
making some exciting new discovery in space,  which would be
useful to the majority of the human race remaining back here on

So,  those children and youth gobbled up every bit of
information they could,  with the purpose being to understand
what kind of knowledge mankind was seeking out there.

The last two years,  2025-2026,  just before the building of
the first permanent colony on Mars,  had seen the most rapid
transformation in popular values here on Earth.

The TV screens had been filled often with images of those
giant spacecraft,  each much larger than a Twentieth Century
ocean liner,  taking off from the vicinity of Earth's
Geostationery space-terminal,  in flotillas of five or more,
each seeming to thunder silently in the near-vacuum under one-
gravity acceleration.    By then,  a permanent space-terminal was
being constantly manned in Mars orbit.   The televised broadcasts
from that terminal showed the monstrous space-craft arriving.
Earth's television screens showed the gradual accumulation of
that vast amount of material in Mars orbit,  waiting for the day
it would descend to Mars surface.   TV viewers on Earth saw the
first craft,  designed to descend and rise through the thin
atmosphere of Mars,  and saw views of approaching Mars surface
from the cockpit,  through the eyes of the cameras.

A great anticipation built up throughout Earth's population
during those last two preparatory years.   Then,  Earth went
through what was afterward described as the "sleepless year," as
the first city was assembled on Mars,  during 2027,   Audiences
on Earth demanded to see every step of the construction relayed
back here.   Nearly everyone on Earth became thus a "sidewalk
superintendent" for as many available hours as his or her sleep-
starved eyes could be kept open.   On waking,  it was the same.
The daily successes reported from Mars were discussed as widely
and in as much detail as Twentieth Century sports fans debated
the details of a weekend's football play.

By then,  holographic projections had become as economical
and commonplace as personal computers had been during the 1980s.
Building a synthetic holographic model of the solar system,  and
constructing a powered-flight trajectory,  such as one between
Earth and Mars,  became quite literally child's play.   A child's
parent could purchase a packaged program at a local store,  and
the child often insisted that this be done.  Turning on one's
system,  and updating the positions of the planets and the course
of a space-flotilla flight in progress,  became a habit with
many.   The same was done with various stages of the construction
of the first permanent colony.   Whatever was seen on the TV
screen,  was something one wished to reconstruct.   The passive
TV watching of the Twentieth Century had come to an end.

The first large-aperture radiotelescopes had been
constructed a millions or so miles from Mars,  as soon as the
manned orbiting space-terminal had been completed.   The system
of observatories and space-laboratories associated with them,
was expanded rapidly,  once the first hundred thousand permanent
colonists had begun to settle in.   Popular fascination here on
Earth,  shifted its focus somewhat from the Mars colony itself,
to these new projects.

It was such a world-wide audience which sat or stood,
absorbed with every sentence of Dr. Jones' five-minute report,
either as it was being broadcast,  or a when morning reached them
a few hours later.    Throughout the planet,  over the course of
that Wednesday and Thursday,  there was the eerily joyful sense
that humanity had reached a major milestone in the existence of
our species.   It would be said,  in later decades,  than on that
day in 2036,  the Age of Reason had truly begun.

At the beginning of the 1950s,  space pioneers such as Willy
Braun had begun working-out the specifications for manned flights
to Mars.   One leading Peenemunde veteran,   NASA's Krafft
Ehricke,  had been certain that the U.S. could have sent a manned
exploratory flight to Mars as early as the 1980s.
Unfortunately,  near the end of 1966,  the United States had cut
back massively on its aerospace program.   Presidents Johnson and
Nixon did not eliminate President Kennedy's popular commitment to
a manned landing on the Moon from the NASA program,  but most of
the other aerospace projects were cut back,  and cut back
savagely as soon as the program of initial Moon landings had been
completed.   Krafft Ehricke continued toward his completion of
the design for industrialization of the Moon,  but he died in
1984,  his work nearly completed on paper,  with no visible
prospect that the U.S. would resume such a commitment during the
forseeable future.

It was not until shortly after Ehricke's death that a
renewed U.S. commitment to colonization of Mars appeared.   The
proposal for a permanent colony on Mars as early as the middle
2020s,  was a featured presentation at a Virginia conference held
in honor of Krafft's memory,  in July 1985.  Nearly a year after
that,  the U.S. Space Commission adopted the same target-date,
and its proposal was endorsed,  although without significant
funding,  by President Ronald Reagan.   However,  the Mars-
colonization project was a featured part of the January 1989
State of the Union address of the new President.   During March
of 1989 a U.S. Moon-Mars Colonization Commission was established.
During that month,  the Congress rushed through approval of
treaty-agreements which the President negotiated with Japan and
western European governments,  establishing these allies as
partners in the U.S.-sponsored Moon-Mars Colonization Project.

Popular enthusiasm for the project was so great,  that the
President was able to secure a $5 billions initial budgetary
allotment for the new project.   Japan matched this with an
sizably increased allotment to its own aerospace program shortly
after that.   Confident that changes in U.S. policies were going
to bring the world out of what threatened to become a major
depression, western European governments came close,  in total,
to matching Japan's bugetary allotment.

The successive phases of the Moon-Mars colonization project
were agreed upon that same year.

It was quickly understood,  that planting a permanent colony
on Mars is a far different sort of undertaking than sending a
manned exploratory vessel to visit Mars.   Leaders recognized,
that to establish a colony of even a few hundreds members of
scientific parties on Mars would require a very large complex of
production workers,  agriculturalists,  so forth.

Back at the end of the 1980s,  most citizens and politicians
did not yet understand the significance of the fact that Mars is
an average 55 millions distance from Earth during the period one
might ordinarily think of making such a flight.    To sustain
just a few hundreds persons there,  was,  by late Twentieth-
Century standards,  a tremendous number of ton-miles of freight
to be shipped from Earth annually.   The scientists understood
this immediately,  of course,  but it required a lot of effort to
make this clear to most of the politicians,  and to popular

The scientists realized very soon,  that we should plan to
put not just hundreds of scientists,  engineers,  and
technicians,  on Mars.    The purpose for going to Mars in the
first place was scientific investigations.   The main purpose was
to build a system of enormous radiotelescopes in the region of
space near Mars,  and to conduct the construction,  maintenance,
and improvements of these observatories from bases both in Mars
orbit and on the surface of the planet.   Using U.S. experience
in demonstration-tests of trained human individuals efficiency
working in low-gravity Earth orbit,  it was estimated,  that to
construct as many observatories as Earth would need to explore
the universe in as fine detail as must be done from Mars orbit,
would require hundreds of thousands of man-hours each year.
This figure included estimates on the number of days a year a
human being could safely work in a very low-gravity field.

The scientists estimated,  that the cost of keeping a
research worker alive on Mars adds up a total amount of equipment
more than ten times required to sustain a scientist in the middle
of the Sahara or Antarctica.   This did not include the estimated
costs of transporting all that tonnage from Earth to Mars.  The
scientists explained to the politicians,  "Mars is a very cold
place by Earth standards,  with a very thin atmosphere,  a
shortage of known water-supplies,  and a lower gravity than
Earth.   People living on Mars must live in man-made environments
under protective domes.   The costs of maintaining those domes,
of maintaining water supplies,  of maintaining the atmosphere,
and maintaining an acceptable temperature within the artificial
climate,  are enormous by Earth standards."   The biggest factor
of cost those scientists had to consider was the cost of energy;
they estimated that more than ten times the amount on energy
must be available,  per person,  on Mars,  than the energy
directly consumed by research teams in the Sahara or Antartica.

They decided that the basic source of energy used on Mars
would have to be thermonuclear fusion.   They pointed out,  that
the Mars colony would need very concentrated sources of
industrial energy,  to enable the colony to produce food and to
sustain itself with the largest part of its requirements in

So,  it was agreed that the way to sustain our teams of
research workers on Mars,  was to build a local supporting
economy in Mars.   They estimated that between a quarter and a
half millions total population would be the minimum size for a
successful colony.    They thought that this might be sufficient,
if we gave Mars the new generation of industrial technologies
which were in the initial development stages on Earth back during
the 1980s.

They saw,  that to get that number of people to Mars,
together with all that was needed to start up a colony of this
size,  was plainly impossible using the methods worked out for
sending a manned exploratory flight to Mars.   To lift that
amount of weight from Earth's surface,  up into high Earth orbit,
by conventional rocket methods in use in the 1980s,  was beyond
possible limits of cost.   Even if the cost were greatly reduced
by improved methods of lift-off,  the amount of weight which
would have to be lifted to deliver the requirements of a quarter
to half a millions Mars colonists from Earth,  was still so
costly as to be out of the question.

The politicians had imagined,  wrongly,  that starting a
colony on Mars was like establishing a research base-station in
the Antarctic.    The politicians imagined,  that the
technologies developed for sending a manned team of explorers
could be expanded to transport a much larger number of
colonists.   The scientists had to make clear why this idea was
badly mistaken.

First of all,  human bodies are designed to function under
one Earth gravity,  or at least something near to that.   The
human body might be able to adapt to gravities a large fraction
of those on Earth,  but long flights at nearly zero-gravity are
very risky,  and were thought to be quite possibly fatal.   So,
the idea of sending people to Mars in the way we sent astronauts
to the Moon,  was ruled out.   The best way they knew to create
the effect of one Earth gravity in space-craft was to have that
spacecraft constantly powered by one Earth gravity's worth of
acceleration,  creating an effect very much like way a person's
weight increases when being accelerated upward in a twentieth
century elevator.   The scientists pointed out,  that powered
flight at one-Earth-gravity acceleration,  made possible new
kinds of trajectory-paths between Mars and Earth,  and reduced
the travel time enormously.

Some pointed out that this might be possible with ion-
engines powered by fission reactors.   It was agreed that
thermonuclear fusion would be far superior in several ways.  They
explained that fusion energy was the form of energy production
which would be needed on Mars.  The problem they tackled was
convincing the politicians that the needed development of fusion
energy had to be completed before the Mars trips began.

It was decided,  that the beginning,  that the main part of
solving the problem of lifting weight into geostationery Earth
orbit from Earth's surface,  would be industrializing the Moon.
Provided fusion power could be established on the Moon,  they
guessed that more than ninety percent of the total weight of
large space-vessels,  could be produced on the Moon,  and lifted
into Moon orbit at a small fraction of the cost of producing
these materials on Earth.   The same thing would apply to most of
the materials set to Mars to construct the first stages of a
permanent colony.   Space-vessels to Mars,  could be assembled in
either Moon orbit or Earth orbit,  and launched from either

Still,  a lot of people and weight must be lifted from
Earth.   The scientists decided,  that using a rocket to get
beyond the Earth's atmosphere is like designing an aircraft to
fly under water.   The idea of using a transatmospheric aircraft
to get above the atmosphere,  had been under discussion for
decades,  and preliminary designs were fairly well advanced
during the course of the 1980s.   It was decided to push the
development of transatmospheric craft,  to build up a network of
low-orbiting space-terminals.   This would provide the cheapest
possible way of moving large numbers of people,  and large
amounts of freight,  up beyond the atmosphere.   It would also be
the cheapest and safest way to bring people down from orbit to
airports on the Earth.

By that time,  there were already designs for what were then
called "space ferries."   These "space ferries" would carry
people and materials over the distance from the low-orbitting
terminals,  to the locations of the main space-terminals,  in
Earth's geostationery orbit.   These geostationery terminals
became the locations at which technicians assembled the craft
used for regular travel between Earth and Moon.

So,  on August **,  2000,  the first routine travel between
Earth and the Moon was begun.   Some of the astronauts grumbled,
complaining that they had become high-paid airline pilots.   It
was pretty much routine.   It was policy,  that  the pilot made
only a few round-trips between the Moon and Earth-orbit,  before
being sent back to Earth for rest and rehabilitation,  although
the main Earth space-terminals already had a one-Earth-gravity
artificial environment at that time.   After a few trips,  the
space-pilots would board a regular bus-run of the space ferry at
the space-station,  get off at a low-orbitting terminal,  and
catch the next transatmospheric flight back to Earth.

Few people living in 2036 remember this obscure event,  but
back in 1986,  the United States sent two pilots to prove that an
propeller aircraft could make a non-stop trip around the world.
Most scientists thought the trip was a silly way to waste money
for no useful purpose.   The only reason one would mention that
obscure flight in 2036,  would be to show the kinds of problems
the scientists faced in explaining space-colonization to the
politicians and voters.

Imagine a propeller aircraft,  the combined weight of whose
engines,  fuselage,  and pilots are nearly zero.  In other words,
how far can a pound of gasoline fly itself,  given the
efficiencies of propeller aircraft?   So,  this obscure flight
was designed,  making the weights of engines,  fuselage,  and
pilots,  as small a percentile of the weight of the plane's
maximum fuel load  as possible.   What did the flight prove?
Nothing that a qualified aeronautics engineer could not have
proven with an electronic hand calculator.

The problem,  back in 1989,   was to explain to the
politicians and public how this same problem,  of total weight to
fuel weight,  limited the possibilities for getting into space,
and affected the costs of getting a pound of weight into space.
As everyone knows today,  the further a vessel moves from a
planet's strongest gravitational pull,  the less fuel it costs to
accelerate a pound of weight.

The politicians got the point.   The system of getting into
space,  from the Earth's surface to the geostationary space
terminal,  and to the Moon's orbit,  was a kind of pyramid.  The
distance from Earth's geostationary terminal to Moon-orbit,  was
the tip of the pyramid.   The transatmosopheric system,  between
the Earth's surface and the low-orbitting terminals,  was the
broadast strip of the pyramid.  The space ferries,  moving back
and forth between the low-orbitting terminals and the
geostationary terminal,  were the middle section of the pyramid.

One of the biggest obstacles the space program had to
overcome,  was the massive prejudice most of the politicians and
public had built up against nuclear fission over nearly twenty
years,  between 1970 and the time the project began,  in 1989.
The political factor,  of fear of nuclear radiation,  was far
more important than the engineering problems involved in
using nuclear fission safely as a power-source for aircraft and
space vehicles.  This prejudice was a major engineering
difficulty,  since nuclear fission gives much more power per unit
of weight than chemical fuels.   In all travel,  the ratio of
total weight to weight of the maximum fuel load,  is the most
important of the economic limits to be faced.

However,  by that time,  thermonuclear fusion as a power
source was nearly a reality.   Fusion is vastly more efficient as
a fuel-user,  than nuclear fission.   So,  nuclear fission was
the power-source for regular flights between Earth-orbit and Moon
orbit during those early years after 2000,  but its uses for
other modes of flight was avoided.

To get from Earth-Moon to Mars,  required us to develop
another pyramid,  with the base of the pyramid running from
Earth's geostationary orbit to the Moon's production,  the
tip of the pyramid reaching Mars surface,  and the distance
between the base-line and Mars-orbit the lower portion of the
pyramid's volume.

A third pyramid was designed.   The base of this pyramid was
on Mars' surface.   Just as on Earth,  we must move passengers
and some freight from Mars' surface into Mars orbits.   From
there,  in Mars orbit,  the pyramid branches in two directions.
One direction leads back to Earth orbit.   The other direction
was powered travel,  as from Earth orbit to Moon orbit,  to and
from the radiotelescopes and space laboratories constructed in
the general vicinity of Mars.

Those three pyramids became the fundamental design of the
system of transportation as a whole.

Once the first of the two pyramids had been designed,  the
key bottleneck next to be mastered,  was production on the Moon.

Quite clearly,  the scientists could not think of building a
nineteenth-century-style metals industry on the Moon.    The
combustion of oxygen,  which had been the basis for metal-working
on Earth deep into the Twentieth Century,  was not a workable
proposition on the Moon,  even if a combustible fuel could be
found.   Only three sources of industrial energy could be found.
Electricity could be generated in various ways,  or nuclear
fission or thermonuclear fusion could be used.   Some hoped
that a fusionable isotope of helium could be mined on the Moon.

Krafft Ehricke had worked out a nuclear-fission economy for
the Moon,  but it was realized that a thermonuclear-fusion
economy would be far better.   For the rest,  the standard
handbooks of physics and chemistry already existing in the 1980s
were most helpful.

The policy decided upon was this.   As every school-child
knows his ABCs in 2036,  production of inorganic materials is a
matter of what most back in the 1980s still referred to as the
available temperatures of production processes.   If the highest
industrial temperatures then in general use,  could be increased
by an absolute factor of slightly less than ten times existing
modes,  there was no material in the solar system which can not
be reduced to a plasma form under such conditions.   Back in the
1980s,  we had only two ways in sight for doing this effeciently,
thermonuclear fusion and coherent electromagnetic pulses of high
frequency,  and very high energy-density cross-section of impact
upon targetted materials.

The problem which the project's leaders faced then,  was
that if we reduce material to its plasma state,  how do we handle
it.  The answer is familiar to every school-child in 2036,  but
it was a major problem for the scientists back in 1989.   The key
to the solution was obviously lessons learned in experimental
efforts to develop thermonuclear fusion as a source of power.

If was clear from the beginning of the project,  that if the
schedules set for Mars colonization were to be realized,  it was
indispensable to accelerate thermonuclear-fusion development and
development of techniques associated with high-frequency lasers
and particle beams.   The development of the gamma-ray laser was
given much higher priority through these decisions.   The
decision was made,  to achieve what were called then "second
generation" thermonuclear fusion technologies by the middle of
the Twenty First Century's first decade,  and to put accelerated
efforts behind mastery of techniques for production of materials
using electromagnetically confined plasmas.

The fact that we were obliged to force the development of
advanced technologies then on the horizon,  in order that we
might solve the materials-production problems we faced on the
Moon,  greatly accelerated our civilization's development of
newer types of ceramics.    We did not have the development of
ceramic materials of anomalous crystalline structures on the list
of project requirements at the start,  but once we recognized the
advantages of materials so novel to us at that time,  we added
the forced development of these technologies to our project.

In the same way,  we were forced to develop the early
varieties of laser machine-tools in general use in 2036,  to be
able to machine these new materials.   Our project brought the
techniques of electromagnetic isotope separation up to a level of
refinement still considered modern today.

It was the success of these breakthroughs in fusion, lasers,
and very-high energy-dense production processes,  which made the
industrialization of the Moon such a brilliant success.   It was
by perfecting these methods and processes for the
industrialization of the Moon that we solved in advance the major
problems we would have otherwise faced during the initial
colonization of Mars.   The building-up of the Moon's
industrialization was the major factor forcing us to delay the
beginning of Mars colonization until 2027.   Had we not developed
the technologies needed for industrialization of the Moon,  as we
did,  the colonization of Mars would have been delayed by a
decade or more.

Some of the 1985-1986 plans included a heavy emphasis on new
directions in biology,  but without the desperate fight Earth had
to mobilize against the AIDS pandemic,  it is doubtful that many
supporters of our Mars colonization project would have been won
over to supporting this line of research to the degree which
later proved necessary,  once the Mars colonization had begun.
So,  today,  we are able to incorporate the benefits of this
research into designs of systems for manned deep-space
explorations.  and have overcome most of the fears of possible
strange diseases which might be encountered,  or might develop,
in our further explorations and colonizations of space.

It was not until the late 1990s,  that the last significant
political opposition to the costliness of the Mars-colonization
project was overcome.

We began the project in 1989,  under what might seem to have
been the worst economic conditions for such an undertaking.
Over the preceding twenty-five years,  most of the world had been
caught in a long process of economic decline,  which we described
then as a drift into a "post-industrial society."   In many of
the then-industrialized nations,  the average income of
households had fallen to about 70% of the real purchasing power
of 1966 and 1967.   Entire industries which had existed during
the 1960s,  had either been wiped out or nearly so,  in many of
these nations.   The basic economic infrastructure,  such things
as water-management and sanitation systems,  general
transportation of freight,  energy systems,  and educational and
health-care systems,  were in a state of advanced decay.   To
cover over the collapse of incomes,  a massive spiral of
borrowing had occurred in all sectors of government,  production,
and households;  a terrible financial crisis had built up.

Those who pushed the Mars colonization project the most,
including the President of the United States,  did not view the
project as a way of spending a large surplus of wealth.   It was
seen by them as a way of helping to revive a decaying economy,
and also a way of showing all mankind that our species has
meaningful opportunities for present and future generations,
opportunities as limitless as the universe itself.

At first,  many grumbled political objections against the
large sums of money spent.   As the citizens saw new industries
and employment opportunities opening up as a result of the Mars
project,  the political support for the project grew.  Over the
course of the first ten years,  the project grew in importance as
a technological stimulant to the growth of economies.    Then,
the first decade of the Twenty-First Century, there were waves of
revolutionary improvements in methods of production;  many of
these benefits were the direct result of using the new space
technologies in everyday production back on Earth.   The
political opposition to the project's cost vanished.

One of the first of the developing nations to join Japan,
the U.S.,  and western Europe,  in the project,  was India. The
next were Argentina and Brazil.   The project's leaders and
sponsors showed wisdom in encouraging participation in their own
programs by young scientists from many nations.   The fact that
we may be so confident that general war has disappeared from
Earth in 2036,  can be credited to the Mars colonization project
to a large degree.   The rate of technological advancement and
increase of wealth in the nations which undertook the project
from the start,  has been such that no potential adversary would
think of attacking them.

As it became clearer to everyone that there were going to be
large permanent colonies in Mars during the middle of the Twenty-
First Century,   the general idea of developing the worst deserts
of Earth worked its way into policies of governments.   Africa,
whose population-level collapsed by more than 100 millions during
the course of the AIDS pandemic,  is growing again,  and only the
Sahel region,  but large stretches of the Sahara are blooming
areas with new,  modern cities.

No one talks of over-population any more.   The idea off
transforming the Earth-sized moon of Saturn,  Titan,  into a new
colony,  beginning forty to fifty years from now,  is already
more popular than the colonization of Nars was,  back during the
late 1980s.    Titan's atmosphere is poisonous,  but we can
forsee ourselves gaining the kinds of technologies needed to
Earth-form a planetary body of that sort.  The strongest voice
for this is coming from the Mars colonists,  who now say that
they find everything delightful on Mars but its uncomfortably low
gravity.   There is also big pressure for such new major space-
projects from circles tied closely to the Moon industrialization
program;   they say that Moon industries are ripe for a major new

The Mars colony will be almost self-sustaining within
another ten years.   No one on Earth worries any more about
Earth's continued subsidy of the colony;  who doubts today,  that
the economic benefits area already vastly greater than the
amounts we have spent.  There are now over two hundred space-craft
travelling back and forth between the orbits of Earth and Mars,
and with each journey,  more going to Mars,  than returning.   We
expect the population to reach over a million within a few
years.    We wonder if more than a handful living back in the
late 1980s dreamed how much their decisions would change not only
the world,  but the solar system,  for the better,  within two