The Instigator
Pro (for)
3 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

Resolved: The US federal government should colonize Mars.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/2/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,807 times Debate No: 43222
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)




Round 1- Acceptance
Round 2- Arguments/Rebuttals
Round 3- Arguments/Rebuttals
Round 4- Rebuttals/Closing (no new arguments)

This debate involves the United States Colonizing Mars.

Colonizing is sending people to live on and populate an area that has not previously been inhabited by the colonizing force.

Mars is the 4th planet from the sun in the Sol System.

Pro, me, takes the side that the U.S. Should Colonize Mars.

Con, lannan13 takes the side it should not.

Thanks for accepting the debate lannan13 .


I accept and will look foward to this debate, but before we begin I have a few questions like. How much will this cost, How will you get the money, and who is administrating the opperation?
Debate Round No. 1


Why The United States should colonize mars

Part 1 Why mars should be colonized

Reason 1- Humans should go all places that they are reasonably capable of going.

Man is capable of building machines that allow transportation to take place at faster and faster rates that bring us to new and exciting adventures. These machines include various types of automobiles, airplanes, boats, trains, and now Space Ships. Transportation has, up until this point, been the key limiting factor from traveling to and in essence colonizing our sister planet Mars. Now that transportation is no longer an issue going to Mars is something that Humans are reasonably capable of doing.

The international space station (ISS) has been a key factor in proving the human reasonably have the capacity to survive in space for the duration of a journey as far as mars. Although most crews stay on the ISS for 6 months, astronauts have been in space for over 1 year during a single journey.[1] The journey to Mars is estimated to be 6-8 months along the Hohmann Transfer Orbit [2]



Reason 2- Earth is becoming overcrowded [3].

Why else would anyone want to move away from their home except to have more space to themselves? Both China and India are known for their population control measures that have been created because of overcrowding[4]. The world currently has over 7 billion people on the planet and the number is growing every day. As Earthlings who celebrate the production of life, we need to find a place that will support the growing population; Mars has the space to do that. Mars has 55.91 million sq miles of potentially colonizable living space that is within our ability to use and we should use as much of it as we can.



Reason 3- Resources

Deuterium is a stable hydrogen isotope that is five times more abundant on Mars than it is earth. With the proper equipment, one milliliter can produce as much energy as 20 tons of coal. This could very well be the solution to the world energy crisis. Any suggested imbalance of cost associated with colonizing mars would be quickly debunked with the trade value of this substance alone; however there are many other precious minerals in abundance on Mars including gold, silver, and platinum. There may even be many other elements that will be discovered when Mars has been colonized.

About Deuterium as a fuel…

Reason 4- Further colonization

Mars is not the end all of space exploration, it is simply a stepping stone to further exploration and colonization of planets and moons that are further away from Planet Earth such as Jupiter’s Europa. Many discoveries for the necessary tools to colonize a new planet will be made in the process of colonizing a new planet.

Part 2 Why the United States Government should be involved.

Reason 1- The United States is the Leader in Space exploration

The U.S. boasts the first person to walk on the moon(Neil Armstrong), the farthest a shuttle has ever been from earth (Apollo 13), the first Chimpanzee to go into space, the first flyby and closest approach of nearly every planet. Most importantly, the United States is the Leader in Mars exploration. The U.S. touts the first soil samples from the surface of Mars and the most successful rover landings with the most information gathered from the red planet [5].


Reason 2- The United States is the leader of the UN Security Council

As the leader of the U.N. Security Council it seems natural that the U.S. will take on the role as leader of interplanetary migration from countries all around the Earth. Colonizing Mars certainly does seem to be shaping up to a worldwide endeavor with already 200,000 applicants for the proposed 2025 Mars One mission reduced now to 1,058 [6].It still seems a little high to me, but who knows how many people will make the final cut.




lannan13 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Requested an extension due to extenuating circumstances. Granted.
See comments for further explaination.


I'd like to thank Pro for given me a second chance after mother nature made temps. in Topeka -30 F on Monday.

Contention 1: Earth is Overpopulated

Here's a fun fact of the day! If the entire world population had the same amount of living space as New York City then they would fit into Texas! ( See this means that we aren't overpopulated it just shows that us as humans are just really just spread out. In an article by Time we can see that the world's population is actually decreasing not increasing. ( Doesn't look like you believe me. Many nations that have high female financial independence look at Europe. Thier childbirth rates are actually lower than the death rates! The US has actually reached it's lowest all time as the US birth rates are falling. US birth rates are down 8%, foreign births are down 14%, and Mexican birth rates are down by more than 23%! ( So it looks like the Earth is not overpopulated.

Contention 2: US colonization of Mars is forbidden!

My opponent brings up the US is the leader of the UN, but here's something funny. In 1967, the UN, including the US, signed the Outer Space Treaty. This treaty forbids another nation claiming a celestrial body for sovernty. What is a celestrial body you may ask. ( It is actually a planet, star, planetoid, astriod, and planet ( The current resolution is that the US should colonize Mars. Which means Mars will be claimed by the US violating this treaty signed by the US, USSR (now includes all of the states of the former nation), and the UK, so the US cannot, by law, colonize Mars.

Contention 3: Mars would cause nothing but problems.

There is many things that Mars would cause to us here are some important things: loss of conscienceness due to little ammounts of Oxygen, Extreme weather changes, because Mars is far from the sun and has little atmosphere, tissue exspansion due to low preasure, but you think a space suit can help you? You're wrong because the space suit you are wearing would be ripped to shredds by micrometeriods moving at fast speads. So even if you make it you can freeze or burn to death, inpload, or die from suffication. (

Contention 4: Getting there.

In my opponent's arguement he fails to bring up how will we get there. It seems like the most viable option would be the Orion shuttle which is powered by nuclear pulpulsion according to NASA. ( The bad thing about using this ship is that it is also illegal, this is also according to the outer space treaty. Which many nations have rattified and/or signed here is proof. (
Debate Round No. 3



The Earth is overpopulated.

Rounding everyone up and moving them to Texas sounds like a great idea. Let’s start filling the state with sky scrapers immediately, or let’s migrate to Mars.

(2)US colonization of Mars is forbidden!

Your argument is grossly misrepresents the treaty. Upon your claim, I read the treaty in its entirety and I find nothing in the treaty that claims occupation of a celestial body is forbidden. I do find that restricting a nation (U.S. or otherwise) from conducting activities in space, which must be to the benefit all of mankind, is illegal. Article 2 reads that “Outer space and celestial bodies are free for exploration and use by all States on a basis of equality and in accordance with international law. [1]”


In the most favorable view, the treaty shows that the U.S. may not claim sovereignty of mars. But it in no way restricts the U.S. from being involved in the occupation, or from providing funds and people for an international mission to occupy the Red Planet. Whether the mission is international or not international does not negate the U.S.’s ability to colonize according to the agreed definition of colonization provided in round 1.

It seems as though you are basing your argument on semantics. If your statement were true, it would also be illegal to occupy the ISS because it is a celestial body according to the link you provided. Because Americans do occupy the ISS, your interpretation of the treaty must be false and therefore your argument is false.

(3)Mars would cause nothing but problems.

I would like to see you actually defend this statement. However, for the argument you do provide under this heading, you give information about surviving in space, not on Mars. Mars has a protective atmosphere, whereas the Moon does not. If this debate were about occupying the Moon, your “how stuff works” link would be relative. But this debate isn’t about the Moon, and your argument isn’t relative to this debate.

(4)Getting there.

I see nothing in any of the information you provided about the Orion shuttle being illegal. As a matter of fact, I would like to prove that it is Legal [2] and for the sake of readers of this debate, I will also provide a link to information on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty [3].




This debate is part of a tournament which has the restrictions of 4-5 rounds. Due to Con’s forfeit of Round 2, this is essentially a three round debate. Although this fact may or may not cause both of us to be disqualified from the tournament, I urge voters not to base conduct points entirely on this factor. Con was an adequate opponent who took this debate seriously, even though he was limited by a natural disaster.

Con failed to provide rebuttals to all of my arguments except earth overcrowding. Much as he made an adequate rebuttal, he did nothing to prove that earth not overcrowding was a reason to not colonize Mars. His further arguments were erroneous and unsubstantiated. His best argument was that one State could not claim sovereignty of a celestial body or restrict another State from also occupying the same celestial body, but even that was a correlation that I made from the evidence that he provided, not his own. Despite the claim, occupation for the purpose to live on and populate Mars by people originating from the U.S. meets the criteria for Colonization as presented in Round 1.

I have presented adequate reasons why the U.S. should Colonize Mars, and even went further in answering the questions presented by Con despite the fact that the questions focused on our capability to occupy Mars not the actual topic of whether we should or shouldn't do it. Vote for Pro in reliable sources due to Con’s misrepresentation of his information.



Contention 1: Earth is overpopulated

My opponent is misreading my argument. I stated that the world is not overpopulated and I showed the math. This is not a counter plan that I am purposing I'm just showing that the world is not overpopulated. Also Pro drops my argument that the world population is actually beginning to shrink so please extend that across the board.

Contention 2: US Colonization of Mars is forbidden!

My opponent here is again mistaken. He fails to see that colonization is a nation claiming territory and the people's of those territory do not have the same rights as the actual nation. (hence the 13 colonize, Philippians, etc...) So the US is claiming sovereignty of Mars which is forbidden by the Outer Space Treaty of 1967. According to the resolution the US will colonize Mars, so it is obvious that this plan is against international law. Pro brings up the ISS, but the ISS is man made therefore not a celestial body making Pro's point invalid.

Contention 3: Mars would cause nothing but problems.

My opponent says that my point is invalid, but let me actually quote my source I provided. "Outer space is an extremely hostile place. If you were to step outside a spacecraft, such as theInternational Space Station, or on a world with little or no atmosphere such as the moon or Mars" It says in the article that it's the moon or Mars. So my point here still stands. Please extend my points here across the board. (

Contention 4: Getting there.

My opponent states that NASA was provided the exception. Except this was just testing. If Pro's plan passes then it begins conventional use which is illegal. This will increase nuclear use in outer space. Prohibited again by the OST of 1967. Pro's own article's prove to hurt him here because it states that the Orion qualifies, but that's for testing is that it is excluded.


We can see at the end of the debate that Pro has dropped most of my arugements and I have proved that moving to Mars will kill, is illegal, and that we have no reason to actually do it.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Josh_b 2 years ago
I think the outcome of this debate will be based on whether or not the U.S. must unilaterally colonize Mars in order to meet the resolution of this debate and whether or not "should" or "should not" has been addressed.
Posted by TUF 2 years ago
Ill try to vote after I have finished voting the rest of the tournament debates.
Posted by lannan13 2 years ago
Dang School Closings. Sorry, my school was closed Monday and didn't allow me to respond.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by tylergraham95 2 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:33 
Reasons for voting decision: Good debate. Conduct is given to pro for forgiving forfeit and more professional rhetoric (Cons argument felt too familiar/casual for a formal debate, and it did detract from it). S&G were tied, neither side with any particularly distracting flaws. Sources were awarded to pro for (upon investigation) more reliable sources, and more abundant sources. Arg goes to con as pro failed to fully rebut many of Cons arguments. Pro rebutted the argument regarding sovereignty in celestial bodies adequately (though it could have been much better, just because the US sends the firsts colonists, doesn't mean it's sovereign US soil), but Con "proved" that it would be unsafe to colonize mars. Pro could have EASILY proved that you can manufacture equipment to survive on mars, but didn't.