Mars

Mars is a dry, dusty, formerly rust-colored world in the Sol system with a burgeoning introduced biosphere composed of terragenid organisms. It is Earth’s neighbor planet, and the first planet apart from Earth that was settled by humans.

Geography

Mars is the fourth planet out from its sun, Sol. It has two natural satellites: Phobos and Deimos, both small captured asteroids, as well as a human-built artificial satellite called Pyroeis (formerly the IMORS) in stationary orbit above New Thebes.

The dry land of Mars is concentrated more or less from the equator downward, with the northern hemisphere being mostly ocean covered by a large swathe of seasonal sea ice. The south pole hosts a similar icy sea, southward of the Hellan and Argyre Seas. The northwestern side of the Tharsis Mountains is a glacial tundra, bleeding down past the equator into the Daedalia Planum. The immediate southeast of the mountains is covered by the Tharsis Desert, composed of the Syria, Sinai, and Solis Plateaus, which is where the Mariner Valley begins. To the northwest of this arid promontory is the lush volcanic island of Elysium.

Inhabitants

Mars' biosphere is merely a few centuries old but already fairly well-established; imported over the late 2000s through the 2300s from Earth (being terragenids.) Over generations, the humans of Mars have adapted to their extraterrestrial environment, even as they have adapted the environment itself. Martian humans, colloquially termed "rustfeet," have slowly evolved to become lankier than their Earthbound ancestors thanks to the significantly lower gravity of the red planet. Their cardiovascular and muscular systems have become slightly weaker, making life in higher gravity environments more of a challenge for Martians than their Earthen counterparts. However, rigorous physical training can be undertaken to prepare a Martian's physiology for more intense gravitational conditions.

History

Geological History

Mars.jpg
by ESA (Rosetta)
The planet was a desert world for most of its history, with an extremely thin and CO2-rich atmosphere that had been stripped over the eons by solar wind let through by the rapid decay of Mars' natural magnetic field. This dropped the surface temperature and pressure far below that at which liquid water is sustainable, forming the polar ice caps. Mars remained a thinly-aired, geologically dormant planet for eons until the arrival of humans.

For much more information, visit the Wikipedia page on Mars.

Human History

The first human landing on Mars took place on October 3, 2016. Remaining on the surface of the rust world for four months, the astronauts of the Ares I mission studied the composition of the red planet, tested the performance of new technologies, and determined which crops grew best in the harsh Martian environment. Thanks to the success of the Ares I mission, the Ares program was continued to the end of the fifth mission in 2036, after which they were supplanted by the Cadmus program responsible for terraforming the red planet. The Cadmus program was overseen by both the UNAC on Earth and in orbit around Mars -in 2029, the Ares IV mission deployed the core block of the International Mars Orbital Research Station, followed by the delivery and assembly of the habitation module by the Ares V mission in 2049. Additional modules were delivered by unmanned commercial spacecraft over the course of the early 2040s, and the IMORS received its first crew in 2045 to begin preparations for the Cadmus program.

The first challenge in terraforming Earth’s rusty neighbor was, naturally, Mars’ conspicuously absent magnetosphere. This was solved with surprising ease by a young engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who designed the Aegis-class nuclear electromagnet satellite, which became a staple of terraforming efforts for the next several hundred years. ANCILE (Aegis Nuclear Core Inductive Lagrange-1 Electromagnet) was brought to Mars L-1 by the last Ares mission in 2033, allowing the artificial Martian magnetosphere to accumulate.

Terramars.jpg
by Unknown (unlocatable)
Following this, the Martian atmosphere and water content was embellished considerably by the Cadmus I mission’s 2061 redirection of Halley’s Comet to a collision vector with Mars (a decision with considerable public backlash, but much benefit.) Cadmus II performed a similar feat with numerous other, smaller periodic comets in 2064. Cadmus III (2068) and IV (2072) brought genetically engineered microorganisms to the surface of the red planet, designed to convert the atmosphere from CO2 to oxygen and remove harmful chemicals from Martian minerals and water.

After over half a century of no human activity on the Martian surface, the Cadmus V mission established New Thebes in Da Vinci Crater: humanity’s first permanent residence on a planet other than Earth. Following this, the Cadmus program partnered with the BIFROST to bring genetically modified flora to the surface, eventually resulting in the mottled greenery seen on Mars from the 2300s onwards.
Terramars.jpg
by Unknown (unlocatable)
Mars circa 2800 CE.

Maps

  • Map of Mars

    Mars is a former desert-class, current terra-class planet in the Sol system, and the first human colony world.

Type
Planet
Location under
Sol
Owning Organization
United Nations of Humanity
Location 2.5e+8 km from Sol
System Sol

Orbital Characteristics

Semi-major axis 1.5 AU
Semi-minor axis 1.5 AU
Orbital period 686.97 days
Rotation period 24.5 hours
Notable satellites

Planetary Characteristics

Class (former) small frigid desert (D)
Class (current) small cold terra (TR)
Radius 3389.5 km
Surface area 1.4e+8 km2
Volume 1.63e+11 km3
Mass 6.42e+23 kg
Gravity 3.7 m/s2
Atmospheric pressure 0.6 atm
Atmosphere composition
  • 61% nitrogen
  • 36% oxygen
  • 2.75% argon
  • 0.15% carbon dioxide
  • 0.1% other gases
Average temperature 9.7°C

Biosphere Information

Life Organic multicellular (marine, terrestrial)
Tech level 15
Population 1 billion
Demonym(s) Martians (or "rustfeet")

Articles under Mars


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