Colonising Mars is not an act of self-sacrifice but an act of sacrificing others and the Earth in order to fulfill vain, jaded utopian ambitions. National Space programs are a broad attempt to dominate and exploit resources in the broadest possible sense. Observation of the universe through astronomy is a respectable pursuit which if done which a sense of awe and mythological reverence. However our increasingly globalized world is founded on the notion of consumption and commodification. This reveals itself in human attitudes toward the natural world, as something to be dominated and exploited.
Money being poured into these projects is immense, and it reveals how out of touch a particular class of people in the first or developed world are with the very real immediate dangers such as starvation, malnutrition, homelessness, drug addiction and displacement that the majority of people are facing on earth, and I say earth instead of ‘this planet’ because this is the only world we have and the moment we accept the narrative that there is more than one world in which we situate ourselves physically and psychologically, then the value of earth is immediately diminished by virtue of there being an alternative environment or resource for human life.
The neglect of the crisis we face as a species in favour of egotistical ventures intended to dominate and manipulate the solar system is the most selfish course of action a conscious adult could make. It is rooted in a desire to dominate nature and bend its fixed laws to individual human will, the idea that creation is there for your needs only, to serve you, on your terms. The commodification of the natural world (of which we are a part) is the ultimate act of violence and its guarantees our destruction.