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Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

Resolved: The United States Federal Government should establish a colony on the Martian surface.

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missbailey8 has forfeited round #3.
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Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 8/16/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 221 times Debate No: 94768
Debate Rounds (4)
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I would like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate ahead of time. This is part of the DDOlympics.


1. No forfeits
2. Citations should be provided in the text of the debate
3. No new arguments in the final speeches
4. Observe good sportsmanship and act civilly/decorously in the debate
5. No trolling
6. No "kritiks" of the topic (challenging assumptions in the resolution)
7. No counterplan.
8. My opponent accepts all definitions and waives his/her right to add resolutional definitions
9. The BOP is evenly shared
10. Follow the structure of the debate properly
11. Rebuttals of new points raised in an adversary's immediately preceding speech may be permissible at the judges' discretion even in the final round (debaters may debate such rebuttals' appropriateness)
12. Violation of any of these rules, or of any of the R1 set-up, merits a loss


R1. Pro's terms and definition; Con accepts
R2. Pro's Case/arguments; Con generic Case/arguments
R3. Pro generic Rebuttal; Con generic Rebuttal
R4. Pro generic Rebuttal; Con generic Rebuttal


The United States Federal Government is established by the US Constitution. The Federal Government shares sovereignty over the United Sates with the individual governments of the States of US. The Federal government has three branches: i) the legislature, which is the US Congress, ii) Executive, comprised of the President and Vice president of the US and iii) Judiciary. The US Constitution prescribes a system of separation of powers and ‘checks and balances’ for the smooth functioning of all the three branches of the Federal Government. The US Constitution limits the powers of the Federal Government to the powers assigned to it; all powers not expressly assigned to the Federal Government are reserved to the States or to the people [1].

Should-must; ought(used to indicate duty, propriety, or expediency): [2]

Establish- Set up on a firm or permanent basis: [3]

Colony- A country or area under the full or partial political control of another country and occupied by settlers from that country: [4]

On- Physically in contact with and supported by (a surface): [5]

Martian Surface- surface of Mars.

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I accept this debate. Best of luck to lannan13. May the best man win.
Debate Round No. 1


I thank my Opponent for accepting this debate and wish her luck in this debate.

Contention 1: Science Leadership

Over the next 10 years, we are expecting over an influx of about 10 million children to pass through our school systems and this plan, even if it inspires just 1% of them, we would see a massive boom in STEM jobs and as the world is progressing, these STEM jobs are becoming the key jobs of the future that are the engineers and the scientists. This plan to colonize Mars is expected to create 1 million jobs by 2033 [1]. The economic growth is obvious with the Apollo mission we saw a 6% economic growth from that program. The Mars mission will skyrocket the US economy significantly which is something that is massively needed for the US to finally exit the lingering 08 crisis [2]. This program will help solve the current issue as many our STEM jobs are from abroad. There is a key issue that comes here and that is our economy is at risk in the short term while in the long term it is our national security as we will fall behind an aggressive China. Mars is filled with tons of minerals, as I will get into later, and some will help lead to biomedicine and help possibly lead to new cures. If this plan isn't enacted, then we risk a war with China. China is becoming more and more aggressive as seen by their actions in the South China Sea and against Japan. If they reach this and begin to rival US, this would lead to war as Chinese leadership has even been talking about using nuclear weaponry against the US in a surprise attack if war is to break. The death toll from the fighting itself would be 200 million from the US and over half a billion from the Chinese, assuming no one else gets involved [3]. Mars must be colonized in order to prevent weakening US STEM power and a US-Sino War.

Contention 2: US Hegemony

Ever since the Beginning of the Obama administration, US hegemony has been on the decline where the influence in Foreign affairs has begun to decline. If you ever look at his achievements under foreign policy, there isn't much to brag about. US has failed to help end conflicts in Syria and deter the Russians in Ukraine. Other global events show the US has begun to decline post Housing Bubble [4].

US hegemony is extremely important to the world as it help deters terrorism. A huge weakness in the Obama administration was that his lack of foreign policy and waning of the US Hegemony helped lead to the rise of ISIS. The US hegemony is key in deterring terrorism as any and all amounts of US policy should be devoted to national security and through this, the world becomes safer. This was shown at nearly every major event that the US would lead the charge to help people in need around the world to help fight off injustice and the terrorist movements [5]. The most recent one was the War on Terror and the US influence over a great deal of the Western nations. The US colonizing Mars would be a massive expansion of US hegemony by showing the US capability to make such a move in outer space and doing such an expansionist move in outer space. It would show that other nations and coalitions are so far out of touch in technology and in military technology and advancement that would come out of such an endeavor.

Contention 3: Rare Earth Metals

Platinum is a rare metal that is included in many technologies from military satellites down to a cellular device. Prices of REMs have increased by well over 100%. China, who owns 95% of the world's REMs supply has begun to clamp down on the exports due to new environmental regulations and their new crack downs on illegal mining laws. There will be a 48% increase of demand of REMs by next year and the shortages of some of these key metals are not helping the prices [6]. The current price of Platinum is $1,084.30 per ounce. The reason this is important that the US gets to Mars first is when they begin to mine there is 170 million tons of Platinum on Mars and when you do the math, this comes out to $167 quadrillion in platinum and platinum alone which would shatter the Chinese monopoly and be enough to be used for the entire world for nearly 500,000 years [7]. At the end of the last decade, China placed an REM embargo with Japan effetely cutting them off from a huge amount of key resources. The US would need to lessen Chinese dependence and by doing this, the US could be able to avoid a 1973 Oil Crisis-like event on REMs. Such an event could lead to a US-Sino War in order for the US to acquire these resources when China will bar them from us. Colonization and the mining of Mars is the only way to solve this issue.

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I. The Cost

When you begin to consider colonization, there is no doubt that the resources for survival and travel are going to be a main concern. This situation is no different. However, the estimated cost for colonizing Mars is tremendously high. In fact, there are estimates that state that it could cost between $48 billion and $121 billion for transportation, sustenance, communication, entertainment, and shelter. [1] This is money that can be used for better causes on Earth rather than Mars.

II. The Human Body

According to Mars One, the average trip to Mars could take anywhere from six to eight months. [2] This trip alone can pose many threats to potential travelers, due to the gravity fields, isolation, space radiation, among others. [3] Along with this, inhabitants of Mars would have to get used to the lower levels of gravity, which already has a few health risks.

"The surface gravity of Mars is 38% that of Earth. That might make it slightly easier on landing, but in the long run, the full force of gravity that our bodies have adapted to will not be present to re-strengthen the astronauts’ cells, bones, and muscles as they readapt to a gravity environment. Adjusting to this lower level of gravitational pull on Mars may cause a physiological change in the astronauts’ bone density, muscle strength, and circulation making it impossible to survive under Earth conditions if they were to ever return." [4]

Because of this, only the most physically and mentally healthy individuals would be able to travel to Mars.

III. The Planet

Despite being the most similar planet to Earth, Mars is an incredibly hostile place to live due to its thin atmosphere, low gravity, solar radiation, and cold surface temperatures. [5] These factors can cause the death of human inhabitants if we are not careful.

"There are numerous unforeseeable events that can occur en route or on Mars. The major concern would be Space Radiation. Space radiation, usually ionizing radiation, has been shown to cause cancer, cataract formation, or death. NASA is developing materials to diminish incoming radiation and utilize a combination of radioprotectors to limit the effects of ionizing radiation. But sometimes the level of radiation will be to high to safely protect astronauts." [6]

What is even more devastating is that the dust on Mars has been proven to be hazardous to humans. [7] Because Mars is a windy, dusty planet, it would be impossible to avoid the dust.

"Some material on Mars may be carcinogenic (known to cause cancer), and other particles might cause lung conditions like silicosis (respiratory disease caused by breathing in silicants)." [7]

This raises the question, why should we risk human lives just to colonize Mars, especially when we can reap potential benefits from Mars elsewhere?


Though there are most definitely some advantages of colonizing Mars, there is no way that you can avoid the cost, the harm done to the human body, and the extreme environment. It is simply too dangerous to risk losing money and people.

Thank you. I look forward to my opponent's rebuttals.

Debate Round No. 2


For this round I shall be addressing my opponent's arguments and I shall break it down via the contentions that she has brought up.

R1: Cost

My opponent brings up the $48-$121 billion cost for the plan in this debate. My opponent must keep in mind that there are many things here that offset this. One is that of the One-way trips that are most likely to occur in this as even NASA is currently purposing. The one way trip is estimated to cut the total cost of these trips by 80% [1]. The only thing that would come back is many of the resources that are mined. When we look at this contention we must perform cost-benefit analysis and see the financial benefits from mining the REMs on Mars outweighs the miniscule cost of $48-$121 billion. It may have financial issues in the cost for the short term, but we will have significant benefit in the future from the mining that offset the cost and will give us more fiscal flexability to help us here not only domestically, but even in foreign aid and a long list of other event. As a result, this contention should be flown to my side of the debate. My opponent also acts like this is a great amount of money that we would be spending, but this can actually be done using NASA's current budget and this is only less than 1% of the government budget [2]. We wouldn't be able to do a lot more with this as it is just a small amount of money in the government budget.

R2: Human Body

My opponent states that only the most mentally and physically healthy would be able to travel to Mars. My response is simply why is that a problem? If we go and colonize Mars wouldn't we want the most physically and mentally healthy individuals to help begin to set-up the process of Mars. This argument by my opponent has no weight in this debate as there is no actual impact derrieved from this.

Many of these side-effects I will address in the next contention inregards to the environment. The aspect of gravity isn't much of a problem. Sure we cannot change Mars's gravity, but we can easily replicate Earth's through centrifuge force. It wouldn't do everything, but it can and will mitigate these factors.

R3: Environment

There are many things that can be used to mitigate these effects. One of which is the Biodome, which though very small, can help mitigate solar flare, Mars windstorms, temperatures, and help recreate a similiar atmospheric preasure as Earth's [3]. These domes create a sort of greenhouse that heats the biodome which makes perfect for agricultural activities and mitigate deadly UV rays. The British are currently working on a space craft that can go and create a smaller magnetic field to go and detter solar winds the same way Earth does and they have tested a lab model. Eventually this can be used to help this endevor [4].

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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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