Life and travel in space has for several decades been envisioned and written about in science fiction. With today’s technology, we are closer than ever to turning this into reality and colonizing other planets. Is it likely that we soon will bear witness to interplanetary migration, where people move across planets and settle permanently? Several organizations, space companies, activists and politicians are aiming for human settlement on Mars, and the interest is increasing. It is frequently described as the next frontier, or the new “New world”. How and why are we planning to settle on Mars, and what happens if we do?

In this panel, we want to broaden our view on the subject of migration and consider both ethical and technological aspects of human migration to Mars. Is such a form of migration morally justifiable, given humanity’s enormous challenges here on Earth? Or on the flip side, could the goal of putting humans on Mars have the effect of unifying mankind, as well as result in innumerable technological innovations? 

To discuss this topic, we are welcoming Casey Dreier, Chief Advocate of The Planetary Society. He will be accompanied by Lucinda Riley, Executive Director of the Mars Society USA and Education and Outreach Officer for the Royal Astronomical Society in London, as well as Aaron Ridley, Associate Professor at the University of Michigan with a Ph.D. in Atmospheric and Space Sciences. Our last speaker is Patrick Rennie, an engineer from Reaction Engines Ltd, who works to enable low-cost space exploration and development of space-based operations. We also have the pleasure to announce senior researcher, Øyvind Mejdell Jakobsen from CIRiS/NTNU Social Research as the moderator of this event.