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From our Expert Voices conversation on travel to Mars.

For four months in 2013, I lived and worked as if I were an astronaut on Mars, thanks to the NASA-funded HI-SEAS project. My crewmates and I produced data on the social challenges inherent in long-duration space exploration, because a breakdown in human systems can be just as catastrophic as a rocket failure.

While Elon Musk's Mars plan highlights reusable rockets and in-orbit fueling schemes, it appears thin on details of the people who would fly. We do know he intends his first crews to be wealthy: recent estimates put a ticket for a would-be Mars colonizer at $500,000.

How will these crews of high rollers divvy up the work necessary to build a city on Mars? Which of the paying customers will clean the toilets, collect the trash, or restock the food supply? Or, will a service crew be sent along, perhaps on a free ride? And if so, what might be their path into a society that presumptively belongs to those who bought their way in?

The bottom line: As we know from history, colonization isn't simply about building better ships to take bold adventurers to new and exotic shores.

Other voices in the conversation:

Go deeper

Tim Scott hopes to reintroduce version of GOP police reform bill

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) told reporters Wednesday he plans to reintroduce his police reform bill or a similar proposal in the coming weeks and that he has discussed a potential compromise with Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.).

Why it matters: Eyes have again turned to Washington to take steps to address police reform in the wake of Derek Chauvin's guilty verdict Tuesday, after efforts stalled in Congress last year.

Biden announces small business tax credits for vaccine PTO

Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden on Wednesday called on all employers to provide workers paid time off to get vaccinated or recover from COVID side effects, and said he'll include a paid tax credit for small businesses that do so.

Why it matters: The Biden administration sees workplaces as highly influential in making shots more convenient for working adults who are in high-risk industries.

White House unveils plans for high-profile climate summit

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Biden administration offered new details this morning about the big, virtual climate summit Thursday and Friday and signaled they expect new emissions reduction and climate finance commitments from multiple countries.

Driving the news: The administration said 40 heads of state would attend, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil.