Using Energy and Resources from Space to Raise Living Standards of Across Earth
While Expanding Free Independent Human Societies Throughout the Universe


"We are far from having found the best ways in which human beings can live together and govern themselves; far from having achieved freedom for all, or having explored all the talents of which the human mind is capable. What chance will we have, though, here on an Earth ever more crowded and more hungry for energy and materials, to allow for diversity, for experiment, for groups to try in isolation to find better lifestyles? What chance for rare talented individuals to create their own small worlds of home and family, as was so easy a century ago in our America as it expanded into a new frontier? For me the age-old dream of improvement, of change, of greater human freedom are the most poignant of all; and the most chilling prospect that I see for a planet-bound human race is that many of those dreams would be forever cut off for us." 
The High Frontier, Gerard K. O'Neill

A vulture intentionally landed behind this girl. The photographer Kevin Carter scared it off. 
No one knows what happened to the child. Kevin Carter committed suicide a year later.

 "Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable…Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, 
and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals." Martin Luther King, Jr.

People starve to death on Earth today; entire ecosystems face extinction; children are aborted because they are considered unaffordable or the wrong gender, 40% are born out of wedlock, 1 out of 60 with autism; unemployment among young-persons nears 50%, 85% of recent college grads live with their parents; polluted water, smog, xenoestrogens, and eternalplastics are omnipresent; 55% percent of our federal budget is devoted to military spending, now exceeding the combined military expenditures of the next twenty countries: China, France, the United Kingdom, Russia, Japan, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Italy, India, Brazil, South Korea, Canada, Australia, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Israel, the Netherlands, Greece, and Columbia; Google receives six thousand requests monthly to turn over records of individual electronic footprints; since 2008 the net worth of American families has fallen 40%; the richest x hundred Americans have more wealth than the bottom y hundred million Americans; 50% of all jobs in America pay under $34,000 a year; one hundred million Americans have incomes of less than twice the U.S. poverty line; 44% lack savings or a pension to meet basic retirement; the average stock market investment for an American family is less than 5 thousand dollars; one third of high school graduates never read a book for the rest of their lives, 42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college, 80% of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year; 1 in 2 men will experience cancer in their lives, 1 in 3 women, 1 in 4 Americans will die from it; 40 cents of every Federal dollar is borrowed...that must stop, and, be repaid; taxes stifle entrepreneurial success; real people are suffering real challenges which might be remedied by funds and attention otherwise spent on Mars research and settlement. Why Mars??

Feeding starving children is more important than exploring Mars. Feeding children and exploring Mars together is important than only feeding children. Worthy endeavors are not mutually exclusive. A research settlement on Mars is not a single one-shot solution to every human nightmare. NASA receives one half of one percent of the federal budget. Nearly every space activist cares deeply about humanity's broad challenges - that's why most of us are interested in developing space. There is no excuse for anyone to starve. We can care for fellow humans while developing our solar system - indeed, the only way to raise the living standards for all humanity is through the use of space resources. Off-Earth development is one small piece in a broad front of on-going solutions directed at long-term systemic challenges - which humanity can overcome. 

Mars pioneers will use their skills and education, their experiences and passions, hopes and visions to further human progress on Earth. New civilizations on Mars will catalyze change here on Earth. The most important gains from Mars settlement may be cultural. International, multi-ethnic, democratic settlements of millions of people thriving on Mars may by their mere existence undermine entrenched cultural conflicts - such as racism, religious intolerance, xenophobia, and class hierarchies - here on Earth. Anticipation of thriving settlements through near-term fiction - like the show 'Home' - may undermine systemic sources of misery affecting humanity now, before a single human steps on Mars. 

Space development will contribute to the relief of such grave basic issues as poverty and hunger. Hundreds of millions of lives have been saved by using space in ways which could not have been anticipated only a few decades ago. Weather and GPS satellites are the result of technical skills and humanitarian passions finding engineering solutions to staggering horrors. There is an ongoing need for new basic knowledge in science. We require advancements in physics and chemistry, biology and physiology, and particularly in medicine to cope with hunger, disease, contamination of food and water, ecological extinction, religious conflict, and national division. As a stimulant and catalyst for the development of new technologies, and as an enabler of new research into basic sciences, the development and commercialization of our space frontier offers an unparalleled potential for compassionate solutions. 

The Space Age not only acts as a cultural mirror in which we can better understand ourselves, it provides us with the technologies, challenges, and passions - even the optimism - to address Life's most profound tasks with confidence. 

Nearly everyone working in the space community - to a person - cares deeply about our greater human family. That is why we became scientists, engineers, artists, writers, advocates and space enthusiasts - as a personal, passionate moral calling. Space development is something we must achieve. Solutions to humanity's long-term entrenched problems will only be found if we expand the frontier of human knowledge and commerce into space. Near-Earth asteroid mining and Mars settlement are among the most noble goals on this horizon.

"But what... is it good for?"
Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, 
commenting on the microchip.

Much of this FAQ is written in the light-hearted sarcastic tone of an entertainment show, often responding to odd genuine questions asked in forums around the internet. Questions are meant to reflect the idiom of actual inquiries commonly found in such forums as Reddit, Facebook, and space advocacy conferences. If you would like straightforward answers to straightforward questions, these FAQs may be of value: 

"Not only can small groups of people change the world, in fact is is the only thing that ever has."
Margaret Mead

How much will sending humans to Mars cost? Why are estimates so broad?
Cost estimates for human exploration of Mars have been wildly disparate, leaving much confusion in their wake. This occurs for political reasons as various NASA centers inflate budget requests with regional pet projects, and, as Presidents submit budgets never intended for anything other than flattery of special interests. For example, on the high end of the scale was the Space Exploration Initiative proposed by President George Bush, Sr. in 1989 at $450 billion, which ensured no serious Mars effort was undertaken. Mars Direct occupies the low end of the scale at $30 billion. Since nearly two-thirds of a round trip is production and storage of fuel, along with the cost of an Earth return vehicle, Mars to Stay settlement approaches further reduce costs (with emergency return vehicles being recycled into habitats after long-term human viability in 1/3 g is assured).

Human exploration and settlement using Mars Direct / Mars to Stay mission architectures can be accomplished under the existing NASA budget - which now accounts for less than 1/2 of 1% of Federal U.S. discretionary spending. A total mission cost of $30 billion, spread over the 20 years envisioned by Mars Direct (10 years to first flight, 10 years afterwards during which five missions are flown), represents approximately 10% of the $300 billion NASA budget over this 20 year period (based upon current annual funding levels of $15 billion). Funds allocated to Mars exploration do not disappear from the American economy -- budgets pay salaries of engineers, support staff, and workers who assemble hardware necessary for Mars missions. Meanwhile, technological advances are a natural by-product of space exploration, helping to drive economic activity for decades

Differences in cost estimates are also due to the amount of new hardware which must be developed and used under various proposals. Institutional pet projects include assembly of large spacecraft either in orbit or on the Moon, while other insincere, absurd, unnecessary proposals have called for advanced propulsion systems such as nuclear engines. Developing these new technologies and the infrastructure necessary to support them increases costs. Mars Direct uses only existing off-the-shelf technologies, adapted for the specifics of a Mars mission rather than the Moon, and generates fuel for emergency return on Mars itself.

In 2011 America spent 20 billion on air-conditioning in Afghanistan (NASA's budget was 18 billion)

Isn't the 2020s early?
Home depicts an ambitious entrepreneurial research settlement called Amaze overseen by a public-private partnership funded by people who know how to get things done. It is neither a government Flag-and-Footprints mission nor a privately-funded Photos-and-Footprints mission (usually understood as a publicity stunt by two hired astronauts and a cheesy extroverted billionaire, returning after merely 35 days with only lip-service to science and no effort to settle - squandering sponsorship revenue and public interest unique to a first landing). The Amaze settlement was conceived from it's beginning as 'Strive to Stay'. At each 550 day return-launch window if health tests suggest no adverse effects from living in 1/3 g, scientists continue research on Mars until the next 550 window. This continues indefinitely as additional persons and equipment land on Mars.
"We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out."

Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.

This is one of only about two hundred remaining vaquitas "Desert Porpoises" in existence, 
just 50 miles from the US border, in the north of the Sea of Cortez. 

Is hipster culture so devoid of intellectual curiosity as to need cutting-edge space programs to inspire students to become engineers and scientists rather than...hipsters?
Space settlement and exploration is worthwhile on its own terms. Relying upon a lack of original imagination to justify pubic interest in promoting science is hopeless. Space exploration attracts active participation from people with varied backgrounds: DEVO's guitarist Franz Schubert constructed the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station, Bob Zubrin was a high-school teacher before earning a doctorate in nuclear engineering, Jeff Bezos founded an online store, John Carmack created a game, James Cameron made movies, Elon Musk programmed websites. Contemporary civilization may not use talent as effectively as 4th century B.C. Athens or 17th century England, but everyone can contribute to expanding free independent life into the universe. We do not need a space program to inspire the next generation of scientists and entrepreneurs. We need a space program to develop and settle space.
"The concept is interesting and well-formed, but 
in order to earn better than a 'C,' the idea must be feasible."
A Yale University management professor in response to 
Fred Smith's paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. 
(Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.)

Why should the first scientists settle on Mars rather than run back to Earth mamas? 
Mars is more than a scientific treasure; it is a new home for humanity with surface area equal to all the continents of Earth, possessing all the elements required to support life, and essentially the best choice for hosting large populations off-Earth in the doable future. Research scientists should strive to stay on Mars from the onset of the first human mission to ensure humanity becomes a multi-planet species. Home begins four years after the first human landing, as it becomes apparent humans living on Mars in 1/3 g is viable (only theoretical now...after a half-century exploring space we still do not have any data on how reduced gravity affects human life). Original emergency return vehicles in the story of Home have been converted to expanded living quarters and Mars-orbit launch systems. This is our only scientific assumption. (In the real-world if humanity cannot thrive in or hopefully even benefit from reduced gravity conditions, we will focus upon the long-term project of constructing freespace settlements from asteroid material.)

From a small seed a mighty trunk may grow.

Why should the first settlers have children?
At the close of season one, after pioneers have studied the effects of one-third Earth's gravity on themselves and multiple generations of small mammals - for up to six years in some cases - the first human is born off-Earth. Human families must exist on Mars. Home celebrates humanity becoming a multi-planet species, permanently, irrevocably. (Relax, its not a big deal...except it must be done, for humankind here, now.) Martian kids will experience rudimentary terraforming during their lifetimes, and, a far higher standard of living than the vast majority of persons on Earth. During their lives, after being educated in a loving environment they in turn may decide to dedicate their time to expanding human life further into the solar system: on asteroids, outer-planets, or perhaps Earth. 

"This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as 
a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us."

Western Union internal memo, 1876.

Why did settlers bring a Chihuahua, the Urchihuahua, named Urchi?
Urchi loves to travel. While having a little snack after landing she was inseminated with four pre-fertilzed dog embryos. Nine weeks later she gave birth to a litter of wee ones: a Jack Russell named ___, a Chinese Crested named Ding Ding, a Sweedish Vallhund named ____, and a Lancashire Heeler named ___. This boisterous litter brings joy and vibrancy to the facility; their successful maturation encourages human settlers to prepare to have children of their own (also conceived while snacking).

Why aren't the puppies named?
Although the first generation has grown they will be named through audience participation in Home. Using a random syllable generator we hope new names will be coined and crowd-selected from thousands of possibilities. (As the show becomes popular perhaps such a naming convention could also be adopted worldwide on Earth, catalyzing a cultural change evidenced by children with new names whose parents were fans of Home. Really. No kidding that would be cool! Look for our online name generator at a screen near you : )

"The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. 
Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?"

David Sarnoff's associates in response to his 
urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s.

Why isn't Amaze, the Settlement Research Station, an international endeavor?
It is. Although everyone speaks English the majority of characters are not from the United States but from international partners who bought into the private enterprise commonwealth of Amaze. Especially the Mexican Free and Sovereign State of Chihuahua, yessiree.  

Why do settlers refer to themselves as Amazing rather than Martian?
Because that would be kind of creepy - Martians - wouldn't it? often do you call yourself Earthling? Isn't everyone an astronaut nowadays? Why should workers at The Amaze Research Facility call themselves Martian when they can be totally Amazing? Hmm?? Relax. Let's get millions of people to Mars - they can call themselves whatever they want, with or without random syllable generators.
Once you're in orbit, you're halfway to anywhere.
Robert Heinlein
Where's NASA?
Stuck in LEO. Still. That's right, after a string of scientifically illiterate Presidents NASA led humanity on a multi-decade multi-generational multi-dream-crushing diversionary voyage of multitudinous cowards to N!O!W!H!E!R!E!  For most of the life of everyone reading this page NASA has been N.O.W.H.E.R.E. Amaze is a privately organized research facility operated by Blue Origin out of Amazon's back lot in Kent, Washington. Taxpayers and international partners do contribute by offering prize money for the completion of specific scientific objectives, but, human curiosity is no longer at the mercy of unimaginative, risk-averse, criminally undereducated, freakishly medieval boorish politicians. Considerable funding comes from advertising, an on-site reality TV show called "Humanizing Mars", research partners, affluent space enthusiasts, and regular everyday folk who just want Mars settled now.

Why doesn't Home depict pioneers working in shifts, rather than night and day periods? 
There's actually a hands-on straightforward interview of Jesco von Puttkamer discussing how humanity learned to use 24 hour day cycles on long-duriation missions: Basically we found folks feel much more comfortable sleeping without the inevitable interruptions from others working; they enjoy sharing breakfast, lunch, and dinner with the rest of the settlement.

The Crazy Ones
What the hell is with these detestable bright cheerful colors??!?! 'Home' is Sci-Fi isn't it?? Listen up: I want lasers, dark dangerous evil crud, ruthless aliens flying around killing idiots, lasers, people freeze-drying, brutal crazy crap popping out stomachs, viruses, explosions, wicked tentacles obsessed with diving down putzes throats, death: death beams, death stars, death dearth, death vaders, death despair, death disaster. Did I mention lasers?!? Misery entertains me! If it bleeds it leads! Outer space's lethal man. Give me deathliness. Instantly. Immediately please not now right now. I shouldn't have to say please because what I want is what science fiction is. Everyone knows our universe was created by malevolent obscene councils of sadistic evilicious demons in vicious conflict with each other. We're finished. No one wants Future-is-Great crap. It highly aggravates pisses me off as a member of The Lost Generation - a Zero without a Hero, me - to tell ya, this. It hurts. For your information I grew up watching Babylon 5 Battlestar Galactica Star Wars Star Trek SyFy Alien Prometheus Avatar - all of it, the whole thing - I am expert on high-tech corporate body snatching straight up ass butchery. With lasers. Get with it. Butchery à la badass. Carnage à la punkass. That's la programmé dumb ass. Pull it together: Zombies. Space. Lasers. Pirates. Make it happen. Insane aliens. Aliens god is afraid of. Alien zombie AI. Lasers. Mucho lasers: laser swords, laser guns, laser jails, planet destroying lasers. Everywhere lasers. Be realistic: life sucks. With lasers. On Earth, on Mars. Everywhere. Guaranteed. Stop annoying me you offensive optimist. 
911. Dial.
"I myself would be disappointed if there is not a person on Mars within 20 years, 
and i hope it is closer to 10." 
Elon Musk

Mars is a new world, hope for a growing Humanity, an opportunity to transcend to a higher level of consciousness, so, to me, much better would be if we threw away negative shenanigans like "Cowards Return to the Moon" (conceived by boors who should not use bitter curses and insults against brave astronauts) and instead put all our energy into Positive Potential Mars (PPM). I hope such an uplifting Spirit will be part of the flowering of humanity as an interplanetary species. Consider "positive communication", the "energy of words", the "opportunity to role model". Think PPM optimistically! :)

Will people use space to escape Earth?

Can a settler work on their own independent projects or for private Earth employers? What will prevent billionaire settlers from enslaving pensioned research scientists? 
Mars is one tool among many with which to improve society. Basic social problems will still exist.

Does the Bible apply to Amazings on Mars??
What are your thoughts on this?

During the end days upon returning will Jesus, the Moshiach, the Hidden Imam Muḥammad ibn al-Ḥasan al-Mahdī, the coming Zoroastrian savior prophet Saoshyant, the Daoist "Righter of Heaven and Earth" Li Hong, the final bodhisattva Maitreya, the tenth and final Maha Avatar "Annihilator of Foulness" Kalki, and/or Emperor Haile Selassie -- save Mars research scientists via a rapture too?
That's what the SpaceX Super Heavy Lift Unicorn is for. Jeez.

Da who?
De ha.

Why are characters lame married couples?
Attention. Nothing about Home is lame. Ever. Kind fulfilling lasting relationships occur among all genders. Couples do not need to be heterosexual, they only need to be willing to raise children with love. Characters depicted on Earth as support staff, along with friends and relatives of persons involved with every dimension of this endeavor have lives as messy as can be. That said, the purpose of Home is to introduce the idea of research scientists living in a settlement on Mars. Millions of people thriving on Mars will undermine millennia old dogma on Earth. Let's focus on getting there.

"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."
Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977

Why not send lesbians with sperm?
Why not send a crew of youthful lesbians who can artificially inseminate themselves then give birth to hundreds of babies for a new civilization?
First, this is not science fiction so we don't refer to anyone as "crew". And we aren't very civilized. Second, relax. Mars is only a few months away…all genders welcome. 
"Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?"

H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927.

Why isn't anyone called captain, commander, admiral, generalissimo, or el presidente? Aren't there military personnel, navy commanders, air force generals, astronauts, test pilots, stick jockeys?
This isn't your grandpa's Cold War stepchild. Every spacecraft maneuver is automated, mediated, or basic. Settlers have secondary interests such as painting and music, but they are all trained as scientists or engineers. This is a show about a home, a permanent research settlement, not a corny 1950s sci-fi hierarchy. (Although Her Majesty the Intergalactic Federation Queen Almighty and Commander of the Universe is an Honorary Protectress of the Free and Independent Democratic Republic of Mars.)
Oh yeah baby now I want to go!

Test pilot "Cowboy Joe" mounts his steed in 1955…pilots may no longer be necessary but we still need cowboy attitude. 
Okay so its all very interesting to dream of building habitat extensions from Martian materials using power from local sources, while watching movies, news broadcasts, Super Bowls and World Cups via Skype - even planning 3D printed sailboats for use in massive aircraft carrier-sized greenhouses constructed decades from now by nanobots - but will people who have never been to Earth still be human? 
Not if they can help it.

"When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."
Wayne Dyer
Won't emigrants go nuts?
On Mars? You think settlers on Mars will lose it? That'd be unusual. Passengers in a Mars Direct "tuna can" hab will have over 1,000 adventurous square feet in which to live. Once on the surface of Mars, the first pioneers will have that space, plus the roughly 500-square-foot emergency Earth Return Vehicle, and, of course, the entire mother badass 200 proof unadulterated surface of the planet Mars please. Inflatable greenhouses and subterranean living quarters will follow. When occupied with demanding scientific work, boredom and cramped living quarters will be less an issue. Arrangements will expand with each new two year launch interval, as well as through sub-surface tunneling into gigantic way cool mountains. How insane can humans get anyways??

Is Amaze under the jurisdiction of the United States, a vile corporation, or resentful fruitcakes at the UN? 
Resentful fruitcakes at the UN? Have you been visiting those political websites with advertisements for gold, guns, and survival gear? Relax. All settlements on Mars are free at their inception. Earth governments want it that way. This is not science fiction...there will be no "planetary wars of independence". All off-Earth settlements are independent sovereign states of their own governance. Every person landing on Mars is greeted with the saying, "Welcome free citizen of Mars". And you can keep your guns and barter in gold if you want to....

Can we have a brick, outcropping, notable rock or something formation-like named after us on Mars, maybe a mountain range or base facility if we work with home to settle the universe?
Sure! It would be our pleasure to flatter fans this way. Please use Google Mars to send us the coordinates of your mountain, crater, notable landmark, or high-res rock, along with the title of your book/thesis/manifesto/call-to-arms, and a brief description of the physical process or patented Mars-applicable discovery you want to be remembered for, and, we'll work it into our show, its maps, dialogue, historical records and similar assorted ephemera. This is a free service. If you donate enough jokes we will refer to entire planets with your name - or words of your choice .

Do you plan on re-naming Mars' to something more inviting?
The Ares/Mars archetype has been misunderstood by weak betas since its conception. Mars is the Wanderer, The Leader of Righteous Men. It will be an honor to live somewhere named after this heroic archetype. 

Do characters depict the most renowned researchers in their field? 
No. Obviously not. There were tens of millions of qualified professionals, with little difference between hundreds of thousands of semi-finalists. Settlers are competent, mature, stable couples selected from scientific engineering backgrounds, and, most importantly, for their dedication to settling Mars. Researchers worldwide at the height of their careers communicate with Amaze via Skype, a privilege for which they pay.

We have never been to the moon. 'Home' is another tool to distract us from Big Brother enslavement of Earth funded by international banksters.

Will the overview effect from Mars be so completely compounded exponentially as to blow the supple minds of Martian homo sapiens into irrational heights of joy and enlightenment compassion ecstasy and unity, due to the wonderful awesome processes their eyes are privileged to view, namely, the rest of humanity floating on a speck in the sky above them at night?
It doesn't work. The Overview Effect will not change humanity whatsoever. Get real.

silhouette of a human after an atomic explosion

“Security is mostly a superstition.  It does not exist in nature, nor do the  
Children of Men as a whole experience it.  Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run 
than outright exposure.  Life is either daring adventure, or nothing.”       
Helen Keller

The Pale Blue Dot is a photograph of planet Earth taken in 1990 by the Voyager 1 spacecraft from a record distance of about 6 billion kilometers (3.7 billion miles) from Earth, as part of the solar system Family Portrait series of images. In the photograph, Earth is shown as a tiny dot (0.12 pixel in size) against the vastness of space. The Voyager 1 spacecraft, which had completed its primary mission and was leaving the Solar System, was commanded by NASA to turn its camera around and to take a photograph of Earth across a great expanse of space. Seen from about 6 billion kilometers (3.7 billion miles), Earth appears as a tiny dot (the blueish-white speck approximately halfway down the brown band to the right) within the darkness of deep space.

In his book "Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space", the astronomer Carl Sagan related his thoughts on a deeper meaning of the photograph:

"But for us, it's different. Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity – in all this vastness – there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us. It's been said that astronomy is a humbling, and I might add, a character-building experience. To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known." 

—Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, pp. 8–9