Not long ago, Elon Musk was invited to speak at the 2020 International Mars Society convention. Aside from discussing the challenges that people would face on their journey to the Red Planet, he also pointed out how a future human colony there would gauge their success. What would truly test those brave enough to settle there is survivability even when supplies from Earth are cut off. According to the SpaceX CEO, international law is not applicable on the Martian surface.

The declaration was reportedly listed in the Terms of Service of his company's Starlink internet service. Instead, what the space exploration group hopes to enact are "self-governing principles" which will be finalised and agreed upon when the colonisation of Mars officially commences in the future. Elon Musk believes establishing interplanetary travel is crucial before a cataclysmic event happens. He noted: "Civilisation's not looking super strong, it's looking a little rickety right now."

If a colony on Mars is ever established, it will likely rely on a constellation of Starlink satellites to provide internet service and communication across the planet. Moreover, navigational services will be made available for machines and vehicles to traverse the Martian landscape. Following the success of Starlink's limited beta test, a companion app was made available in certain regions.

People purportedly noticed that the laws of the state of California will govern Starlink's services on Earth or the Moon, which was indicated in the terms of service of the app. "For services provided on Mars, or in transit to Mars via Starship or other colonisation spacecraft, the parties recognise Mars as a free planet and that no Earth-based government has authority or sovereignty over Martian activities," read another section.

It also added: "Accordingly, disputes will be settled through self-governing principles, established in good faith, at the time of Martian settlement." Reports claim that SpaceX was likely inspired by a similar declaration published by the Earthlight Foundation in preparation for the future when humanity can finally travel across the solar system and beyond. Meanwhile, Musk repeatedly hinted that he hopes a manned mission to Mars happens in his lifetime.

Mars Mission
The summer race to land a space probe on Mars is off to a hot start Photo: NASA / NASA IMAGE