What do you need to know about Mars before you set foot on its
surface? Imagine living on Mars and not knowing anything about
it! Well you can avoid this by reading this important information.
:: Your weight
:: Distance to
Suppose on Earth your weight
is 80, than your mass is 80 kg. The weight you feel is caused
by a force which pulls you down. This gravitational attraction
is around 10 times your mass. On Mars however this force is around
2.5 times smaller, so you feel lighter! This will be a very strange
sensation when you aren't used to it, but luckily the EMTravellers
have a special artificial gravity chamber. This way you can familiarize
yourself with your new Martian weight.
history of Mars
Because Mars is a smaller planet
than the Earth the horizon is also smaller. The horizon however
increases with elevation, the higher you are, the more you can
see. Suppose your eyes are 1.5 meters above the Earth's surface,
then the horizon would be around 4.4 km away. On Mars however
this would be around 3.2 km. So Mars really is a smaller planet...
history of human presence on Mars
Billions of years ago Mars
was more like Earth. With a thicker atmosphere and running water
on its surface. There were rivers flowing and possibly even an
ocean. One thing however has never been discovered: life. Life
probably never originated on Mars, there was just not enough time.
The Earth-like Terraean Era lasted only 300 million years.
The inner energy source of Mars died out very fast [on Earth this
source is still active, causing volcanoes and earthquakes] and
Mars became a frozen planet. All the water lies underground in
large aquifers, rock layers soked with water. The atmosphere became
thin with mostly CO2
After the Terraean Era, around every 100 million years volcanism
became active again. When this happened under an aquifer, the
pressure could become so large that the seal broke and large amounts
of water flowed over the surface. The collapsed chaotic terrains
at the source of the enormous outflow channels are a reminder
of those events. Not only volcanism caused these floods, also
meteor impacts could break the seal. In time impacts and volcanism
became fewer, so today large amounts of water are stored underground.
Currently, these aquifers are tapped, which is a delicate procedure.
You don't want catastrophic outflow of water on the surface again.
[ In cooperation with the Mars Science Institute,
Areopolis, Mars ]
We humans have looked at the
night skies for ages. What is going on there? Nobody knew, but
finally we have the answer, humanity is going on there. The human
colonization of Mars started the 29th of September 2023 when 'The
First' landed. The first footsteps on Mars, like those from the
first Apollo mission, are now in a museum. Since these first steps
on Mars a lot has happened. At exactly the same place 'The First'
landed a city has been build, Areopolis, 'city of Mars'. This
city first was a set of interconnected habitat units, providing
living and work space for a small selection of scientists. But
a tent dome was created so people could walk freely inside this
The completion of the tent dome was a mayor step in Mars colonization,
it opened the doors to Mars and a great amount of people decided
to emigrate. These were not just scientists on a rotation schedule,
whole families moved to Mars, farmers, programmers, engineers,
you name it. Besides Areopolis more signs of human presence became
evident. Areologists live most of their lives in the Martian outback,
so Mars has a lot of road tracks now. The areologists have the
most important job on Mars. They try to understand the land, which
is very important if infrastructure is to be build, cities, roads,
bridges, railways. Together with the mining crews they are paving
the way for society. They are the true pioneers.
:: Time on Mars
Martian civilization is mainly
restricted to Areopolis, but there are some mining colonies and
private caravan communities. Areopolis is for now the only city
on Mars and this metropole hosts the Martian
, the official government of Mars. The MA can be
seen as a Martian management organization, taking care of business:
from your Martian passport to the Mars
Remarkably enough Mars has
almost the same rotation period as our home planet Earth.
A Mars day is called a Sol and lasts around 24 hours and 40 minutes.
On Mars the QS
is used. This system divides the Sol in 24 Mhours
with 60 Mminutes
and with 60 Mseconds
so a second on Mars is slightly longer than the Earth counterpart.
A year on Mars lasts around 669 Sols [687 Earth days]. The QS
Calendar divides the Myear
into 20 Quints,
the Martian month equivalent, ranging from 27 to 40 Sols long.
The QS Calendar doesn't use month names like on Earth but numbers:
Quints. The 27th of the 3rd Quint would be Q3
When 'The First' landed on the surface of Mars, one of them looked
at his watch. It said "13:34, Q8
1". Some months before, on the
26th of December 2022 (UTC 10:06:26), the first year of Mars had
started, the year colonization of Mars would commence. Like Earth
also Mars has a zero meridian, like greenwich for Earth. On Mars,
the zero meridian goes through the middle of crater Airy-0.