Professions of the Future: “Who Will You Work on Mars?”

Original author: Louis Efron
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“Jetpack Pilot” is a “profession of the past,” she is 60 years old. "The developer of jetpacks" - 100 years .

“Instructor of a school course on designing a jetpack” in - a profession of the present, doing now.

And what is the profession of the future? Tamper? An archaeoprogrammer? The designer of false memories? Blade Runner?

My old friend, who participated in crowdsourcing for a jetpack engine, now launched his project about the profession of the future . I recommended to him to translate an interesting article from Forbes especially for Habr.

Will Your Next Job Be On Mars?

Take a look around. How many objects and phenomena from those that surround you did not exist when you were a child? Perhaps now your gaze will stop at a laptop, smartphone or Wi-Fi. Now imagine that all of this is simply not there. What then would life turn into? Mentally returning to childhood, think, could you then imagine what you cannot do without now?

It is likely that a similar development is coming with regard to future employment on Mars: perhaps one day it will seem strange to us how it cost us only to work on Earth.

Technological progress continues to lay the foundation for more unique and exciting forms of employment, which are still limited, at the moment, to the limits of our planet. But perhaps change is not so long in coming.

As the late Stephen Hawking argued, "if the human race lasts another million years, we will have to fearlessly go where no one else has been."

Since Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, NASA experts and other scientists are considering the possibility of relocation to other planets as a very visible future, the interplanetary economy and the labor market may not be far off.

The program of Elon Mask SpaceX provides for the sending of the first astronauts to Mars by 2024 . The 2020 budget approved by President Trump includes2026 manned flight to Mars in order to obtain samples from the Red Planet. Studying these rock, soil, and atmosphere samples will allow us to collect new information about the geological structure of the planet and the presence of water on it, and possibly evidence of the existence of life on it, either now or in the past.

In fact, colonies on other planets can be a decisive condition for the survival of mankind. Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos is confident that expanding our living space in the solar system "is not a matter of choice, but a necessity."

Ecological problems, limited natural resources, rapid population growth and the potential chance of death from asteroids or other natural disasters can deprive our mother Earth of the opportunity to remain a haven for growing humanity.

Although there is no unanimous agreement on the fact that Mars should become our next home, Musk believes that the only difficulty in turning the Red Planet into a workplace is, in fact, the “basic task of building a base.”

As soon as this infrastructure base, which Musk is talking about, is created, we earthlings will be able to apply for job vacancies on Mars, just like it is now happening on our planet. However, before packing your bags, you might want to learn more about something.

Why exactly Mars?

Despite the fact that, in general, the planets of the solar system are subject to sharp temperature drops and dangerous cosmic influences, Mars has some similarities with the Earth. It is also located in the so-called Habitable Zone , where conditions are potentially suitable for sustaining life.

Although Martian air is too rare for breathing, and the planet’s surface is too cold for outdoor life, Mars - unlike other planets in the Solar System - has its advantages: it lasts 24 hours, there are 4 seasons, canyons, volcanoes, polar ice hats, riverbeds, dried lakes and even a certain amount of liquid water.

Based on our current knowledge and understanding of the structure of the solar system, it can be argued that Mars is the best candidate for interplanetary migration.

What types of employment will be available on Mars?

As for the initial stage of the development of the Red Planet, few tasks facing us in the Universe could compete with it in the opening opportunities for self-realization of the personality and the level of goals set. Thus, the degree of professional success can become a determining factor both for personal destinies and for the future of all mankind.

Paul Wooster, chief development engineer for the SpaceX Martian project, explains that the first work on Mars will include “many aspects similar to earth construction, the development of minerals on a limited scale (including exploration), as well as small industries, along with such auxiliary activities like cooking and cleaning. ”

Worcester suggests that the initial demand for labor for Mars will more likely affect jobs related to the maintenance of machinery, rather than direct physical labor: “in the early stages, activities in which you do not get your hands dirty with physical work will most likely be carried out directly from the Earth. ”

As the infrastructure base develops, the range of possible vacancies in such sectors as medicine, agriculture, education and the service sector will expand. At first, the most demanded will be a high level of training in the natural sciences and mathematics.. However, with increasing interest in Mars and the desire to learn more about it, the promotion of relevant films, television programs and reality shows on the earth’s market will make the Red Planet attract more and more diverse talents.

Another aspect of work and an additional incentive for gifted people will be the opportunity to realize the most daring innovations.

“The first Martian colony would be able to earn high income, becoming an innovative colony. Without being distracted by earthly matters, but when faced with challenges that require solutions on Mars colony could become a kind of "pressure cooker" for innovation, because its inhabitants would not have prevented the terrestrial bureaucracy, "
- says Dr. Robert Zubrin , founder of the Mars Society ( the Mars Society ) and author of the new book The Case for Space .

If you can’t wait when the official colonization of Mars finally begins, you can apply for participation in the NASA Astronaut Program. However, we recommend having a backup option; in 2017, a record number of applications had already been filed - 18.300, although the number of vacancies was only from 8 to 14.

How to apply for interplanetary work?

All those interested in interplanetary employment are advised to go to the sites of organizations such as SpaceX , Blue Origin and NASA . Specialized sites such as Space Individuals and Space Careers may also be useful . NASA has even released job posters on Mars for surveyors, farmers, teachers, and mechanics.

Although at present most of the specialties necessary for working in space are based on the Earth, companies working in the field of space research need specialists of any profession. The above organizations and Internet resources demonstrate the prospects opening up for engineering, design, development of computer programs, production, human resources, the financial sector, IT, law, marketing, trade and many other activities that exist on our planet. Whatever your professional interests, if you also have a passion for space exploration, you will find a use for yourself.

How do I get to my new job?

In order to turn Mars into a viable platform for the new economy, affordable, safe, reliable and regular transport links should be made available to the general public. A reusable rocket (like the one Musk suggested) will be absolutely necessary to create a transport service in space by analogy with the airlines. The first passenger missiles could potentially take on board up to 100 people (or more) and 450 tons of cargo.

All decisions aimed at creating mass space transport will require close cooperation and partnership.private companies and government organizations such as NASA. The powerful space transport industry will also create more interplanetary jobs, similar to how it happens with air travel on Earth. Richard Branson's space travel company Virgin Galactic has already attracted hundreds of customers who have invested in future space travel. However, it should be noted that in this new high-tech sector, robots would have completely coped with your service and serving snacks in flight.

Is it safe to live and work on Mars?

If in order to make Mars more habitable, attempts will be made to change its natural environment and apply terraforming (or other transformation), then there is no guarantee of a favorable outcome. An increase in the temperature of the planet can bring back to life the previously existing or existing forms of Martian life , with unpredictable consequences. Weaker gravity can weaken our bones and muscles, and increased radiation can increase the risk of cancer. Anyway, security- An extremely serious problem, and death is a possible outcome for the first settlers. On top of that, initial isolation from a wide circle of friends or a long and abrupt change in social conditions, lifestyle, and diet (along with sleep disturbances due to longer daylight hours) can be a danger to mental and emotional health. This, in turn, can harm the physical condition and shorten life expectancy.

How will I communicate with those who remain on Earth?

Sooner or later, goloportatsiya ( holoportation ) allows virtually put people in the same room almost in real time, even if they are on different planets. This will make communication with family, friends and colleagues on Earth unobstructed and natural. As technology for transferring images and personal bots is progressing, your own physical location is no longer so important. Bots that use touch technology can even create the sensation of a physical touch on another person living on another planet. Remote work technologies will allow you to live on Mars, and work on Earth. After all, people already worked remotely on Mars, while being on Earth.

Will earthly holidays be available?

At first, returning to Earth on a holiday will be impossible due to the high cost and technical limitations of the flight. However, taking into account the fact that the pace of technological progress doubles every 12-18 months, there will come times when a return ticket to Earth will become quite affordable. Until then, holographic rooms and other technologies will be able to provide virtual “visits” that are quite comparable in sensations to real returns to Earth.

If you decide to make your flight in two stages and first live on the moon for some time (as Bezos advises ), your chances of spending holidays on Earth are very real.

Where will I live, eat and shop?

A design competition held under the auspices of NASA demonstrated high-tech Martian houses made from ice, inflatable materials and recycled spacecraft. Over the next 100 years, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) hopes to relocate 600,000 people to Mars. To prepare this new Martian colony, the UAE plans to create on Earth an imitation of it with domed houses. Their plan also includes the construction of a museum (equipped with local sand walls printed on a 3D printer), where all those who hope to settle on Mars in the future could learn more about the history of space travel.

Initially, all spaces for living, food and shopping will be located inside buildings to protect people from outside air, unsuitable for breathing, as well as low temperatures. If the planet favorably accepts our attempts to make it inhabitable, future colonial communities will be able to imitate earthly life and develop the habit of snacking at McDonald's. But taking into account the likely cost of livestock farming on Mars or the laboratory production of meat, get ready for the fact that your Big Mac will be much more expensive than usual. Probably the first thing that will be grown on Mars will be vegetables - so the salad will probably be affordable for you. As for shopping, Amazon, it seems, will remain at your disposal there too: Bezos is already planning its deliveries to the moon.

Can they fire me from work on Mars?

The very fact of dismissal on the Red Planet will be something out of the ordinary until the return flights are possible, or until alternative jobs are created. Recruitment decisions will have to be made in an extremely balanced and reasonable manner; reserve vacancies should be provided for the productive and most reasonable use of the potential of those employees who cease to fulfill their professional duties, or for those cases when there is no need for this type of work. Therefore, cases of incapacity for work or retirement must also be considered.

In order to guarantee a high standard of living for all Mars citizens, housing and care programs should be in place for those who are no longer able to do this on their own; a single health standard and a single basic income can guarantee medical services and an unconditional basic income for everyone, regardless of specific personal circumstances. However, as noted above, the dynamics of the socio-economic situation on the Red Planet may change as the space transport industry develops.

Will I become “mine" on Mars?

The strategy of taking into account the diversity and close attention to the gender, ethnic, religious and worldview features of those who go to Mars is of exceptional importance. Colonization of other planets will give people a unique opportunity to correct the errors of earthly history and bring humanity to the desired balance. If the accounting for diversity is carried out thoughtfully, all members of the community will initially feel that they are “their own”.

Life on Mars will be in many ways a unique challenge. So, for example: how will corporate or state financing of the colony affect the rights and freedoms of citizens? Will employees be completely dependent on their companies, relying entirely on their goodwill in providing housing, food, medical care and other needs?

If private funding from earth companies remains a key factor for the development of Mars, will the political decisions on this planet come from the harmful effects of short-term benefits or long-term socially responsible attitudes?

How do people on Mars adapt to their new environment? Experiencing the effects of weaker gravity, a negligible level of oxygen and increased radiation, people are likely to evolve into a new biological species over time. Astronaut Scott Kelly is two inches taller after just one year in orbit.

How do children born on Mars adapt to their new home? Will they develop qualities that are biologically incompatible with life on Earth and create the basis for a new Martian subspecies of people? What will be the legal basis for the citizenship of indigenous “Martians”?

Will those who finance the migration to Mars try to impose a single universal passport or a preliminary approval procedure for unauthorized interplanetary flights?

When a homogeneous Martian population is gradually formed, will earthlings be welcome there?

Will the independent economy of Mars emerge, or will the Earth become financially stronger and position itself as the only economic center of the Solar system? If Mars nevertheless becomes economically independent (or almost independent) from the import-export market, will it gain sovereignty from Earth? Will such sovereignty lead to a political struggle for power, to ideological confrontation, and, ultimately, to the scenario of events described by G. Wells in his War of the Worlds?

The formation and comprehension of information will become key factors as people strive to populate other planets of the solar system, and then, possibly, beyond it. Institutes such as the National Space Society), A non-profit organization that has been striving to create space civilization and has been a leader in this field since 1974, are a good source for research, publication of articles and general information on how earthlings will be able to use “giant space resources for radical improvement of mankind”. Founded in 1998, the Mars Society is another useful information resource related specifically to the settlement of the Red Planet.

Whatever decisions are made with a view to a universal interplanetary world and common humanitarian principles, the creation of jobs on Mars will be the starting point for the emergence of a new, exciting and unpredictable, "front line" for humanity. There, on Mars, people will discover unique ways of understanding cooperation in the name of our cosmos and, possibly, thereby prolonging the history of the entire human race.

Once again, mentally return to childhood and then reflect on the gadget on which you are currently reading this article. And now, turn your eyes to Cosmos. Well, are you ready?


“In Stavropol, a guy of about fifteen years old, who sat down after the reflection of the“ Course on Mars ”, began to question what exactly I was doing and for how long. I began to tell him about our work in South Africa and Tanzania, Brazil and Vietnam, Armenia and Tunisia, and about endless travels in Russia. The guy’s eyes widened and at some point he said: “This is the dream job - to travel everywhere and work.”
“You understand,” I replied, “you found out that it’s possible at the age of fifteen, and I’m at 35. So you have a chance to build your career from the very way that seems most interesting to you.”
Atlas of new professions - he, in fact, about it. "

- Dmitry Sudakov , Head of the project " Atlas of the new professions 3.0 "

The previous version of the "Atlas"(PDF, Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International )

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