A new national anthem – for Mars!

Another planet: Oscar Castellino (above) was born in a car on a street in Mumbai. © BBC

Does Mars need a national anthem? An opera singer has just performed his latest musical piece, Rise to Mars! Will it inspire people to head to the Red Planet?

What’s happening

Imagine waking up on Mars in 10 years’ time.

As one of the first people on the planet, you have a hard day ahead of you. Maybe mining for minerals, or fixing your space shuttle.

You probably need something to remind you why you made the 35-million-mile journey – and Rise to Mars! might just be it.

Find out more

“Rise to Mars, men and women,” begins the song. “Dare to dream! Dare to strive! Build a home for our children! Make this desert come alive!”

“When people sing it and hear it,” says its composer, Oscar Castellino, “I want them to dream about this future that we have: of our children, and their children, living across the solar system, and a great step that our generation can take.”

He hopes to see people on Mars singing with people on Earth. “The Martian anthem is not about a planet – it’s about our species taking a great leap forward.”

What do you think? Does Mars really need a national anthem?

Some say…

The song is a great idea! If people go to Mars, Rise to Mars! will help them feel a sense of home. It is catchy and could persuade people that living on another planet is a real possibility. That in turn will bring it closer to reality.

Others think…

Do we really want people to be so proud of Mars if we make a colony there? That might make them more likely to rebel against people on Earth. In fact, we shouldn’t colonise Mars at all. History shows that colonising places is a bad idea.

You Decide

  1. Do you think national anthems make an important difference?

Activities

  1. People with a national anthem also need a flag. What should the Martian flag look like? Draw a picture.

Some People Say...

“What kind of world is this that can send machines to Mars and does nothing to stop the killing of a human being?”

Jose Saramago (1922-2010), Portuguese writer

What do you think?

Word Watch

Minerals
A natural substance, like salt or tin.
Space shuttle
A rocket-launched spacecraft.
Composer
A person who writes music.
Solar system
The sun and the planets, and the moons that it controls.
Persuade
Cause someone to believe something.
Colony
A group of people of one nationality or race living in a foreign place.
Rebel
Rise up against a leader.
Colonise
Send people to settle somewhere and take control of it.

Subjects

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