Aside from references to Boaty, Starlink’s Terms of Service also included some fairly unique sections, the most notable of which was written under “Governing Law”. In it, Musk’s private space company explained that Starlink users must recognize that Mars is a free planet and is not ruled by any Earth-based government authority. While worth remembering on its own, SpaceX’s mention of autonomy for Mars underscores the company’s intense focus on reaching the Red Planet in the years to come.
“For Services provided on, on or in orbit around planet Earth or the Moon, these Terms and any disputes between us arising out of or related to these Terms, including disputes regarding arbitrability (“ Disputes ”) will be governed by and interpreted in accordance with the laws of the State of California in the United States. For services provided on Mars, or in transit to Mars via Starship or other colonizing spacecraft, the parties recognize Mars as a free planet and that no Earth-based government has authority or sovereignty over Martian activities. Consequently, the disputes will be settled according to principles of autonomy, established in good faith, at the time of the Martian settlement, ”noted SpaceX.
In a way, “Dishy McFlatface” and the Terms of Service that refer to Starlink on Martian soil are perfectly branded for Elon Musk and his private space company. Musk, after all, has been quite open about the idea of using Starlink satellites to eventually establish Internet connections on Mars. The project will of course take several more years, but it’s pretty hard to deny that the idea is quite practical.