On va vraiment faire de la politique sur Mars ?

Par le 28 août 2018

An de grâce 2016, 27 septembre, Guadalajara, Mexique. Le 67e Congrès International d’Astronomie découvre, ébahi, un projet fou. Elon Musk, fondateur de Paypal et Tesla, annonce qu’il souhaite fonder, dès 2024, la Première Colonie Humaine de Mars à l’aide de sa société spatiale, SpaceX.

Presque deux ans plus tard, le projet reste encore loin d’avoir abouti, mais Elon Musk ne se démonte pas, et le projet semble encore sur de bons rails d’un point de vue scientifique. Cependant d’un point de vue plus politique, de nombreuses questions se posent toujours.

La question du régime martien

Le projet d’Elon Musk est sur le papier assez simple, envoyer à partir de 2024 et de façon régulière, des fusées remplies de plusieurs dizaines de colons, de matériel et de nourriture afin de créer non pas des micro-colonies tentant de survivre, mais de véritables villes martiennes. Le problème, c’est que, pour l’instant, Elon Musk n’a en aucun cas clarifié comment fonctionneraient ces villes, annonçant seulement que les populations installées sur Mars seraient libres de faire ce qu’elles souhaitent, dans la limite de ce que leur survie leur permet.

Pour trouver plus de réponses sur l’organisation de la vie sur Mars, il faut se tourner vers la NASA. Pour elle, cette quête d’une vie durable sur Mars est avant tout le premier objectif à atteindre. Dans la théorie actuelle, les premiers habitants de Mars vivraient dans une forme de Protectorat Martien de la Terre, ce qui signifie que les premiers Martiens seraient entièrement dépendant des ravitaillements envoyés par la planète bleue.
C’est là qu’on constate un écart entre la vision de SpaceX et celle de la NASA. La société privée souhaite faire de Mars ce que l’actuel Président français appelle “the Planet B”, et donc implanter une colonie humaine avant tout. La NASA, elle, est plus frileuse et souhaite tout d’abord envoyer des communautés scientifiques, chargées d’établir sur Mars des systèmes de colonisation durable, et ensuite envoyer des humains pour la peupler, une vision que l’astronaute Thomas Pesquet partage. La question est donc de savoir lequel de ces deux modèles est celui que nous verrons s’appliquer dans un futur plus ou moins proche et quelle place nous voulons donner à l’Humain sur Mars.

 

La question de l’Humain sur Mars

L’Être Humain serait-il vraiment heureux sur Mars ? La question est extrêmement importante, car l’objectif reste, à terme, de voir Mars devenir une deuxième Terre.

Pour la NASA, la solution se trouve dans le choix des premiers colons. Ces derniers seront des scientifiques préparés pour l’occasion, non pas à la recherche de libertés, mais de nouvelles connaissances. Leur travaux, guidés par la Terre, représenteront l’essentiel de leur vie sur Mars, qui sera partagée entre expériences, réceptions de ravitaillements, pauses pouvant amenée à divers loisirs, relation sociales et sommeil. Ce programme peut sembler ne rien avoir de réjouissant, mais c’est celui que vivent actuellement les astronautes de la Station Spatiale Internationale. C’est une conception scientifique de la vie sur Mars, un programme millimétré chargé d’assurer la réussite de l’expédition en donnant le peu de liberté nécessaire aux astronautes pour ne pas devenir fou. Cependant on peut se demander si ce système, à moyen terme, ne peut pas amener les astronautes à développer une forme de monotonie voire de dépression.

C’est ce que le système Musk entend combattre en assurant à chaque individu présent sur Mars une liberté conditionnée par le besoin. C’est là que ça se complique, car si la population colonisatrice que la NASA souhaite envoyer sur Mars est identifiable assez facilement comme une armée de scientifiques aux qualifications indéniables, celle d’Elon Musk représente plutôt une population aisée. En effet, le projet Musk n’enverra pas sur Mars des scientifiques mais des personnes ayant été capable de payer la somme d’environ cent mille dollars avec le matériel nécessaire. Pour Nicolas Hazard, fondateur de INCO (incubateur de start-ups durables), cela constitue en soi un erreur car “[ce sont] ceux-là même qui ont fait le monde d’aujourd’hui”, c’est à dire le monde auquel Elon Musk souhaite trouver une roue de secours. Ensuite, ces personnes, bien qu’elle soient sans doute très capables et entraînées pour l’occasion, ne correspondraient pas aux “pionniers” qu’entend envoyer la NASA. Ils seraient sans doute proie à beaucoup plus de troubles psychologiques et mentaux liés à la perte soudaine de liens forts avec la Terre, mais aussi par les conditions extrêmes auxquelles les soumettrait Mars, selon les informations recueillies par la NASA.

Décollage de Falcon Heavy (Crédit photo: SpaceX)

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