It won’t be a friendly encounter nor a conquest: it will be a gold rush when we meet aliens. Can we be sure it’s ethical?
is a science writer. She is the Latin America correspondent for Science, and her work has additionally appeared in Wired and Slate. She lives in Mexico City.
Aeon for Friends
It wasn’t the Martians’ fault their planet died. If they existed – once – Martians were microbes that are likely residing in a world just like our personal, warmed by an environment and crisscrossed by waterways. But Mars started initially to lose that atmosphere, perhaps because its gravity wasn’t strong adequate to hold onto it after an asteroid impact, or perhaps it had been gradually blown away by solar winds. The cause is still mysterious, but the ending is clear: Mars’s liquid water dried up or froze into ice caps, leaving life without its most precious resource. Any Martians might have been victims of a planet-wide disaster that is natural could neither foresee nor prevent. Read More