New Robert Zubrin Book – “The New World on Mars” – Has Been Published!

Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin’s new book “The New World on Mars: What We Can Create on the Red Planet” has now been published!

As SpaceX rapidly advances its new “Starship” launch system through its test flight program, it has become apparent that it will soon be possible to voyage to the Red Planet.

That possibility opens up a truly grand question: What can we create on Mars?

It is this question that Zubrin’s new book attempts to answer.

All options are on the table. For example, will Mars cities be social democracies, libertarian free market utopias, something in between, or something new entirely?

According to Zubrin, the answer to such questions will not be provided by Elon Musk, himself or anyone else alive today. Future Martian settlers will be able to propose answers. The final call, however, will not made by them, but by natural selection.

The Founders of the United States called their young republic a “noble experiment.” There is room enough on Mars for many more. Everything is likely to be tried. The social forms that prevail will be those that enable their cities to outgrow the rest.

It is for this reason that Zubrin believes that the anti-utopian space colonies that are a staple of science fiction will largely remain fiction. Extraterrestrial tyrannies may be readily conceivable, but their growth would be severely stunted, as no one would want to move there.

People will go to places where they can be free.

The cities that grow the fastest will be those that attract not just the most immigrants in general, but female immigrants in particular. Accordingly, they will need architecture that is not merely functional, but which strives to be beautiful. Moreover, they will need to offer maximum scope for women to both have families and fully exercise their talents in the work of the city at large.

Mars cities will need to have a strong sense of community solidarity. This feature, born of necessity, could prove to be a major attractor for people unhappy with the increasingly anomic nature of society on Earth.

Martians will face a challenging frontier environment. They will need to be highly innovative to survive. Given their very technically adept populations, free Martian city states would likely become pressure cookers for inventions in many critical areas, including biotechnology, energy production, and robotics and artificial intelligence. These inventions, licensed on Earth, could become one of the Red Planet’s most important exports.

Inventions will not be Mars’ only export. Many Main Belt asteroids contain large amounts of platinum group metal ores far richer than any that exist on Earth. The development of inexpensive space flight will consequently open the way to an asteroid gold rush. But the surest way to make money off a gold rush is not to mine gold, but to sell blue jeans to gold miners. Because of its lower gravity and positional advantage, it will be about a hundred times cheaper to send supplies and equipment to the asteroid belt from Mars than from Earth. What San Francisco was to the Forty-Niners, Mars will be to the belt – and ultimately to many new worlds beyond.

Striking a powerful optimistic tone for the human future, The New World on Mars has already received rave reviews. “Martian civilizations will become rich,” Zubrin says, “because their people will have to be smart. They will benefit the Earth not only as fountains of invention, but as examples of what free people can do when they rise above their baser instincts and invoke their full creative powers. They will show all that infinite possibilities exist, not to be taken from others, but to be made.”

“In taking on the challenge of Mars, we do hold it in our power to begin the world anew,” says Zubrin, echoing American revolutionary writer Thomas Paine. “What a grand opportunity. Let us prove worthy of our moment.”

The New World on Mars: What Can We Create on the Red Planet was published in February 2024 by Diversion Books. It is available in both hardcover and kindle formats.