|The Battle of Washington. The pivotal moment of the Second Renaissance timeline that I've been developing for some time now.|
Necessity is the mother of invention, and wars, cold and hot, breed a sense of necessity. The Little Cold War spurred a new era in spaceflight as the US military began to realize its position in space was no longer unassailable. To counter Russian anti-satellite technologies, billions of dollars were pumped into upgrading US launch capabilities, developing in-orbit refueling capabilities, and expanded communications networks. To justify the expense and keep the total military commitment from the public eye, President Clinton proposed an ambitious program to place a human on Mars within the next ten years. A lofty goal for some, a foregone conclusion for others, as SpaceX had already planned on a landing in 2026. The infusion of funds, pushed that date to 2023, and the crafting of the Mars Corporation guaranteed that Musk's vision for a colonization effort would be carried out regardless of a (let's be frank) inevitable loss of interest by the government. The founders of MarsCorp would equal the financial commitments of NASA, but SpaceX and Lunar Energy Ltd. had jointly committed to picking up the slack if necessary. The first mission, made up entirely of NASA scientists and astronauts, launched in 2023 from Cape Canaveral to dock with the Earth-Escape Propulsion Module in orbit around the Moon. The massive Mars Colonial Transporter, propelled by the EEPM reached Martian orbit in just 30 days.
The first steps at Meridian Base were viewed more of the planet than any event before, igniting an unprecedented surge in entrepreneurial activity for spaceflight. Whole companies were formed just to service the waves of people seeking passage on a SpaceX Transporter. In 2026, one such adventurer, Lionel Halvidar, left for Mars, selling his shares in a marginally successful startup and all his assets on Earth to book passage for himself and ten crew members aboard a private Mars Colonial Transporter. Halvidar's small crew was one of the few private colonial efforts outside of MarsCorp's colony planning. Halvidar's mission landed him just outside of Bradbury Landing. While the Public believed the colonization efforts were going well, the truth of the matter was that while the colonies were largely self sufficient, they were plagued by disorder and a low productivity. Perhaps because of this, Halvidar's team quickly became a curiosity to the settlers at Bradbury. The team at Halvidar's colony were far more productive than their neighbors, building ore processing plants, steel mills and concrete mico-factories. For the most part, the residents of both settlements kept to themselves, until the peak of the long Martian winter of AC 3 (Mars calendar). Bradbury proper was facing constant bickering between settlers, food was being produced at just subsistence levels and none of the colonists were filling their duties as scientists or technicians, or assistant said efforts in the case of colonists who bought their way to Mars. One night, there was a knock at the airlock door of the Bradbury habitat. Two of the colony's factions were bickering over the moral arguments for terraformation when two colonists from Halvidar's camp walked in carrying something that looked like a mini-fridge on a handtruck. The argument stopped when they opened it, as the smell of bread, honey, butter, and coffee filled the musty air of the hab. Within minutes the colonists were trying to barter just for a taste of any of the goods that simply did not exist anywhere else on Mars. Grain wasn't banned, but discouraged by the colony planners in favor of leafy greens and beans. An area intensive plant like wheat was simply not seen as practical. But Halvidar's camp were now the only people on Mars with access to creature comforts, and colonists would do anything for them, including leaving their colonies to work for Halvidar's camp. There were some rumors that colony leaders were even "selling," technicians to Halvidar's camp for just an ounce of the Sumatran blend of coffee that was being produced at Bradbury.
By the end of winter of AC 3, Bradbury's two settlements had joined as one, created the first real governing body on the planet to properly administer the colony, and began to sponsor the construction of new colonies across Tharsis to aid them in construction of the first Colony Dome to produce more goods than the rest of the planet combined. It didn't take long after the construction of the Bradbury Dome for the Tharsian colonies to begin pushing an agenda for an aggressive terraforming effort. MarsCorp endorsed scientific outposts had distributed limited samples of genetically modified bacteria in enclosed spaces, but MarsCorp was largely being blocked by NASA from proceeding with full transformation, and it was largely believed to be the result of opposition by the new administration. The loss of the Greenland Ice Sheet and rising sea levels had spawned a kind-of new-Luddite movement that blamed human meddling for the loss of the Ice Caps and opposed directed efforts on Mars. The loss of colonists/laborers to the Bradbury/Tharsis colonies pushed the other members of MarsCorp to more strongly advocate for an agressive terraforming campaign. Bacteria test chambers across the planet are opened to improve the soil base, and the first mirrors constructed by Lunar Energy Ltd. were finally permitted to be sent to Mars to begin surfacing heating. By 2030 the icy and carbon rich asteroids were deorbited on long re-entry paths into the atmosphere releasing huge amounts of heat energy or blanketing the poles with a black soot. Disposable drones were automatically produced and dispersed GM bacteria and lichens across the surface to take advantage and further spur these conditions. These organisms, spread across the planet's surface processing the toxic dust into a usable soil base and extracting greenhouse gasses from the soil. When a given condition of these organisms would be met (O3 levels rising to a certain point, the selenium content of the soil, etc.) a fail-safe in their genome would trigger their demise, depositing more vitamins into the new soil base. Meanwhile orbital mirrors, constructed out of next generation nanoprinters on the moon, were deployed to heat up the surface of the planet. Additionally, the new space elevator allowed asteroid mining firms from Earth via their new Martian colonies to set out for the Asteroid belt and begin peppering Mars with asteroids to generate more heat, and by 2036, even expand the size of Mars's moons by moving several large asteroids to Martian orbit. From this continuous addition of heat and a thicker atmosphere to hold it all in, Mars began to develop oceans. The red planet now had a foundation from which to develop a biosphere, and while it would take decades, Mars was now on its way to habitability. In 2037, MarsCorp moved its permanent headquarters to Viking City on Mars itself, a somewhat ironic development, as the colony had been established by the Bradbury working group.
I'm just another denizen of the internet seeking enlightenment in a world of trolls, false flaggers, and flamers.|
I'm from Western Washington, though I hate Nirvana, Coffee and Microsoft.
I'm an aerospace engineer in training (mostly so I can pick up women by saying I'm a rocket scientist)
Politically I can best be described as Liberal American Exceptionalist; so basically I want Universal Healthcare as an excuse to annex Canada.
I love sci-fi movies, books, and TV shows, classic cars and modern ones too, bitching about politics, speculating about the future, and analyzing the past.
Current Residence: Prescott, Arizona
Favourite genre of music: Rock in all its forms and all its glory!
Operating System: Mac, but switching to Ubuntu
MP3 player of choice: iPod Classic
Favourite cartoon character: Gene Starwind, Vegeta, Brian Griffin, Katara, Nicholas D. Wolfwood, Spike, Batou