ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

2049 on Mars, Episode 1 - Getting to Know You

Updated on November 26, 2017

The beginning of interplanetary travel

Early Falcon 9 launch
Early Falcon 9 launch


I normally write family saga, historical fiction stories and this is no exception - except that it is also Science Fiction, set in 2049 not 1849 or so. Family sagas are about family relationships, like Dune and Star Wars. Family sagas are based on relationships among individuals, who also identify as families. Even in 2016, ‘family’ has come to mean much more than bloodline relationships to many, many people. This is the kind of family saga ‘2049 on Mars’ will be. 2049 is the 110th year following the birth of the author. Will he (I) still be alive then? Possibly, though unlikely. What will life be like then, 33 years in the future from when this is being written? It is really not that far away, so some aspects will be much as they are today.

Elon Musk, owner of the Tesla car company and the SpaceX space exploration company, sees a different future than most of us. He sees the colonization of Mars sooner rather than later. His vision includes sending a million people to Mars, in wave after wave, over many years, in order to create a sustainable population with sufficient productivity to survive over time. These stories are based on one possible extrapolation of his vision, as perceived in my mind, in the early years of that process. Other mind’s stories will vary, of course. I’ve been considering these stories for some time, but have been reluctant to ‘jump in.’ Now seems to be the time, with no pre-conditions. Let’s go see what Steve and Sharon are doing in 2049 - after one more paragraph of background information.

Musk was asked why people would voluntarily go off to Mars to spend the rest of their lives there. His simple explanation was that it was exactly the same decision our European ancestors made in the 16th and 17th centuries to cross the Atlantic ocean, likely to never see their families again, in the old world. They sold everything they had and made the commitment to ‘go there.’ These are people I’ve written about in recent years. Let’s move on into later in the 21st century and see what is actually happening - on the other side of this new ‘ocean’ - interplanetary space.

The Mars Federation population was growing

Conceptual drawing of Mars human habitat
Conceptual drawing of Mars human habitat

Steve and Sharon, now old timers, greet some newcomers to Pod WLS

Steve and Sharon meet Aledmys and Ariel as they exit the airlock from the corridor into residential Pod WLS. “Greetings!” They exchange handshakes all around. Even though each of them has a name emblazoned on their uniforms (along with a number under it), names are and pleasantries are exchanged as well. It is a part of Martian Federation protocol as well as common sense behavior when meeting a new person for the first time. Aledmys [Al-led-miss] and Ariel just arrived on Mars earlier in the day, so talk quickly turns to their trip and how they feel on arrival.

Aledmys: We were Flight 0627, as you see, and it went by routinely, of course.

Ariel: I see you were each Flight 0427 - what a coincidence! Or was it?

Sharon: Yes, it is just a coincidence, except that it is not coincidence for someone with four years experience here to be assigned as your mentors. We’ve got the experience that will be most valuable to you as you find your place in this ‘new world.’

Steve: As you know, our function in this relationship is to be available to answer any concerns you have as you work your way through your on-site orientation, and beyond. They pair us, male and female, so feel free to talk to either, or both of us, about anything that concerns you. Our protocol of talking things out, from the beginning, has been found to be very effective. I know this has been part of the training you have received in the past year, but it is important to reiterate it, here, now, so it is fresh in your mind.

Ariel: So you have been here four years, and you are still here. I guess that is progress.

Sharon: Yes, the two of us, and about 50,000 others now. I think we are well beyond an ‘experiment.’ Welcome to our world… your world now!

Since that first Flight 0001 back in Earth Year 2034, each person had been identified officially by their given name and a 7 digit numerical ‘surname’ - their Flight number followed by their ‘seat assignment’ number. Steve was ‘Steve0427067’ and Sharon was ‘Sharon0427068’ for the old-timers. The newcomers were likewise ‘Aledmys0627024’ and ‘Ariel0627054’ it was noted. In the more than fifteen years now since the first arrivals, flights of about 100 people arrived routinely fifty times a year, about once a week in Earth time. In contrast, cargo flights arrived nearly every day, following the six to seven month routine journey from Earth to Mars. Each ship unloaded it’s cargo and made the return trip to do it all over again. A continuing stream of certain supplies was still necessary to sustain the Mars Federation existence, though each year it becomes more and more self-sufficient.

Aledmys: I have to ask - was it also coincidence that the two of you had consecutive seat numbers when you came? I noticed your numbers.

Sharon: Good observation! No, that cost us an additional $10K - we are brother and sister, and we wanted to be together to support each other from the start. It has actually worked out quite well. We each individually qualified, and paid for our participation, but we did take advantage of that one option in our contract with the Mars Federation.

Mars is a desolate planet

Mars from Viking 1, 1980
Mars from Viking 1, 1980

Their opening conversation continued

Ariel: How did your parents feel about both of you coming here?

Steve: Actually, it was part of our life plan. Our parents were professors at the University of Arizona, and would have loved to do this, themselves. So, they raised us to do it. We never considered any other life, hard as that may be to imagine. What are your stories?

Aledmys: My father was a professional baseball player, born in Cuba. He grew up on risk taking and was very successful. I just followed in his footsteps. Mom has three other children who stayed close to home, so that seemed to work out.

Ariel: My parents moved from Israel to the USA as a young couple. They encouraged me to explore all of my interests. Though I am an only child, they are proud of me following my dream to be here. Aledmys and I were assigned here together, initially, based on our common background interests and likely work assignments. We’ve found the pairing process to be very useful.

Sharon: Very familiar stories, if I may say so. We are so happy to get to know you. Pod WLS is our residence unit consisting of about 50 people with about half male and half female. We are all single with no children, so we all have that in common. People come and people go, according to personal desires and choices, as well as because of work assignment changes.

Steve: You’ll find accommodations very similar to those you had during your pre-flight training. We order our weekly meals based on availability and personal preferences just as you did there. I assume you have become accustomed to that?

Aledmys: I have. It took some time, to realize the choices were limited. However, like everything else in committing to this life, we each know that some compromises are required. The extended pre-flight training prepared us. We each knew people in our early training days that were not able to complete it and make a flight. They just couldn’t handle it, I suppose.

Ariel: My Olympics training really helped me prepare. I was accustomed to following a prescribed routine in my life from an early day. This has just been an extension of that.

Sharon: The whole colonization of Mars has worked because of that planning, and the execution of the plan, with people dedicated to making the plan work. You should adapt to life here very well. By the way, our overall retention rate has continued to edge up, very slightly, nearly every year for the past ten Earth years. Speaking of the plan, it is time we each moved on to our next activity.

Note from the author

This story is purely a work of fiction, created from the mind of the author. I’ve read a few articles to get some background, but beyond that, the stories and people are figments of my imagination.

I always welcome comments and feedback to any of my writing. I look forward to that in this case, as well.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)