Pete Worden, the director of NASA’s Ames Research Center,
has announced a collaboration with DARPA–a $3.2 billion dollar agency funded
by the Department of Defense–in leading a one-way colonial expedition to Mars.
According to Worden, eliminating the expectation of return
would drastically cut costs and encourage the development of a “homegrown
Martian industry,” pioneering what he feels to be our inevitable expansion into the solar system. The announcement was made at a Long Now Foundation
seminar, a weekend-long event that focuses on topics such as SETI, ecological
preservation, and human advancement up to the next 10,000 years.
The military's involvement alongside a "search for extraterrestrial intelligence" suggests a restructured agenda, wherein DARPA's strategic vision remains "…to prevent technological surprise for us and to create technological surprise for our adversaries."
Image courtesy of Nasa.gov