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#1 2021-11-07 16:29:28

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 7,087

The University of Mars

Two Approaches to A University for Mars

1. The Integrated Model

One proposal that might make a difference and accelerate the process of permanent settlers moving to Mars would be the creation of a University for Mars which could have campuses on both Earth and Mars.  The purpose of the University would be to educate potential settlers to graduate or post graduate level, ensuring they were well advanced in the study of key disciplines, have a good grasp of Mars’s geology and of the terraformation process and also developed practical skills e.g. life support system maintenance or farming to a high level.

The course would incorporate training for the flight to Mars and for living on Mars.  Their final year would be spent at the campus on Mars and would incorporate a field study, an exploration mission to a remote location.  There students would undertake activities such as securing geological samples,  road trail planning, setting up solar power way stations, taking atmospheric measurements, searching for meteorites.

Students would likely start their courses at some age between 18 and 25.  There would be no upfront course fees and students would receive free accommodation, food and subsistence but students would sign a contract to go to Mars and work there for a minimum of say 18 months after graduation, during which time a large part of their salary (eg 25%) would be dedicated to contributing towards the cost of their university education. 

The advantages of this approach would be: that people would experience Mars before they started a family; that the young people would be likely to form relationships with other people on the course and so would likely have partners also interested in settling on Mars; and that they would have a skills set that was relevant to Mars development.

Funding for the University could come from philanthropists, Space X and a Mars settlement administration.  With a student body of 3000, you would have an annual supply of 1000 people ready to work on Mars. It might cost something like $2 billion pa to fund.
If half the students settle permanently on Mars, that would give you a population increase of 500 per annum, or 5000 per decade.

The University of Mars would be instrumental in spreading the idea that migrating to Mars will be not only possible but desirable. The whole ethos of the institution will be “Let’s Go To Mars”.  Venite ad Martis.  This won’t just be a case of course tutors communicating their enthusiasm to students, the University will also provide spokespeople to engage with the public whenever….public speakers for other universities, schools and so on.

Even if graduates return to Earth, their degree will likely be valued by employers and their presence in a firm will add "glamour" to the organisation.

2. The Transplant Model

This model would see one or more Universities from Earth create a (likely) post-graduate facility on Mars. Here there would be a mix of advanced teachng e.g. about Mars geology and research e.g. determining Mars's geological past and the location of various minerals. Of course if past or current life is found on Mars, there will be a "gold rush" of research and courses will be lean more to life sciences.

So we might see "Yale on Mars", "MIT on Mars" or "Oxford on Mars". I believe there would be a lot of competition between the most prestigious universities on Earth to "win" the right to establish a university facility on Mars.

Of course while the Universities might themselves invest big sums of money in the project, that does not precluded


The two models are not necessarily exclusive but the structure of the first model, The Integrated Model, would certainly aid colonisation.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#2 2021-11-07 17:42:29

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,913

Re: The University of Mars

Are you doing this University on the Mars surface and if not this topic applies too.
Mars Society "Mars University"

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#3 2021-11-07 18:47:39

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 7,087

Re: The University of Mars

As I explained it's mostly about a University on the surface of Mars. But re Model 1, I think a University of Mars would want to set up a campus on Earth as well to prepare students for the Mars experience. The way I envisage Model 1 might be something like:

0.5 year Preparatory course on Earth - prep and training for Mars.

0.5 year transit to Mars

Year 1 degree course on Mars

0.5 year work experience on Mars

Year 2 degree course on Mars

1.5 years Paid work on Mars (with 25% of salary defraying costs of degree course which is otherwise subsidised)

0.5 (Optional - Return to Earth)

So a student would be committed for at least 5 years if they stay on Mars or 5.5 years if they return to Earth.

It's a big commitment but then you don't want people who are gadflies in terms of their involvement with Mars. Also, the model would be attractive to students in that they would pay no course fees, or fees for accommodation, food and subsistence.  At the end of the course they would have guaranteed high paid employment on Mars. If they return to Earth. they will do so as high status individuals with a story to tell about their time on another planet. It's win-win all round.

I think both models could work but I like the idea of Model 1, integrating university education into the colonisation project.


SpaceNut wrote:

Are you doing this University on the Mars surface and if not this topic applies too.
Mars Society "Mars University"


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#4 2021-11-07 18:52:26

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 4,924

Re: The University of Mars

Louis,

The transit to Mars should be a period of intense training for both surviving the journey and surviving the early colonization period.  There should also be a practical element to all schooling and training.  Learning about theory is good, but putting theory into practice is golden.  Every book test should be accompanied by an oral board and practical exam where students demonstrate what they've learned.

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#5 2021-11-08 07:55:14

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 7,087

Re: The University of Mars

Yes - good point. Education wouldn't stop during transit. And it might be appropriate during transit to deal with such matters as orbital mechanics, solar system, asteroid belt, Delta V and Starships themselves.

I do envisage both models having a strong practical element.

kbd512 wrote:

Louis,

The transit to Mars should be a period of intense training for both surviving the journey and surviving the early colonization period.  There should also be a practical element to all schooling and training.  Learning about theory is good, but putting theory into practice is golden.  Every book test should be accompanied by an oral board and practical exam where students demonstrate what they've learned.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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