Mars Mars symbol
Orbital characteristics

249,209,300 km
1.665 861 AU


206,669,000 km
1.381 497 AU

Semi-major axis

km 1.523 679 AU


0.093 315


686.971 day
1.8808 Julian years
668.5991 sols

Synodic period

779.96 day< br/> 2.135 Julian years

Average orbital speed

24.077 km/s


1.850° to Ecliptic
5.65° to Sun's Equator
1.67° to Invariable plane

Longitude of ascending node


Argument of perihelion




Physical characteristics

0.005 89 ± 0.000 15

Surface area

144,798,500 km²
0.284 Earths


6.4185 × 1023 kg,br />0.107 Earths

Mean density

3.934 g/cm³

Equatorial surface gravity

3.69 m/s²
0.376 g

Escape velocity

5.027 km/s

Sidereal rotation period

1.025 957 day
24.622 96 h

Equatorial rotation velocity

868.22 km/h
241.17 m/s)

Axial tilt


North pole right ascension

21 h 10 min 44 s
317.681 43°

North pole declination

52.886 50°



Apparent magnitude
Angular diameter


Surface pressure

0.7–0.9 kPa


95.72% Carbon dioxide
2.7% Nitrogen
1.6% Argon
0.2% Oxygen
0.07% Carbon monoxide
0.03% Water vapor
0.01% Nitric oxide
2.5 ppm Neon
300 ppb Krypton
130 ppb Formaldehyde
80 ppb Xenon
30 ppb Ozone
10 ppb Methane

Mars is the fourth planet from the sun. It is way smaller than earth but bigger than the moon. Sometimes it's also called 'the red planet' due to it's red color. The color comes from iron rust. Space agency's have send a lot of probes, landers, rover and satellites. The interesting comes from evidence of water, and water means life. The surface of Mars is very different in albedo and elevation. Mars holds a lot of 'extreme'records: the tallest volcano's and mountains in the solar system, the deepest longest and widest canyons in the solar system. there is a lot of CO2 (95,72%) and less O2(0,2%). the poles of Mars consist out of frozen water and carbon dioxide.

history of MarsEdit

geography of MarsEdit

main article: Geography of mars

Mars is divided in two main regions: the low- and highlands. The lowlands are in the north and and are very flat. there are less craters. In the highlands are a lot of craters and difference in albedo. it holds the biggest en longest canyons and mountains. one of these canyons in the Ma'adim vallis, Ma'adim vallis bigger than the biggest canyon on earth, but still not the biggest on Mars.

It also holds Olympus Mons, the biggest mountain on mars and the solar system. it is an dead volcano which made himself up to 23km tall.


Exploration of MarsEdit

Main article: Exploration of Mars

The exploration of Mars have been a big topic in the space world. Because Mars is a relative old planet (according to the evolution theory), it looks much like earth. There is also evidence that water, once was presented on Mars. And Water means life! So, since the Apollo missions, nations where in the run for Mars.


the first who gave it a try was the CCCP, with there marsnik 1 and 2 in 1960, but already on the launch, it failed. Short after that, in 1963 the CCCP launched another one: the Sputnik 22 but that one broke up short after the launch. But a couple of days later the CCCP launched there Mars 1. The Mars 1 was successfully launched and started to collect data, but half a year later, the contact was lost. The CCCP launched two other: the Sputnik 24 and the Zond1964A, but they both failed. Four years after the first launch of the CCCP the USA came in the game with there Mariner 3 and the Mariner 4. The Mariner 3 failed but the Mariner 4 made the first flyby ever! It took 22 photo's of Mars but the photo's where of very low quality.

Mariner-frame 11

the 11th photo of mars from the Mariner 4 spacecraft. This photo is the clearest photo of them all.

Two days after the launch of Mariner 4, the CCCP launched the Zond 2, but half a year, the contact was lost. In 1969 the USA have send two other fly-by spacecraft's: the Mariner 6 and the Mariner 7. They both made a succes which made the USA the winner of the 60' with 3-0 for the USA.

70' and the 80'Edit

The first of the two to send an space craft to Mars was the USA with there Mariner 8 in 1971. The Mariner 8 failed at the launch. that was the first failure of the USA with there spacecrafts to Mars. At the same time the CCCP launched the Cosmos 419 which also failed at launch. A month later ,30 may 1971, the USA launched the Mariner 9. the Mariner 9 was the first spacecraft to make an orbit around Mars. But at the time that the orbiter was at Mars, the planet was very dusty and hard to explore. About a month later, the CCCP launched the Mars 2. The Mars 2 was the first spacecraft that was successful by CCCP. The Mars 2 also contained a lander/rover but that one crash landed. Thereafter, the Mars 3 (also from the CCCP) also contained a lander. The Mars 3 orbiter was also successful but the lander worked only 110 seconds. Although, it was the first lander on Mars that was succesful. The Mars 4, 5, 6 and 7 all partial succeed. In 1979 the USA launched the lander Viking 1 and the lander Viking 2. They both were a success. The Viking 1 lander have send the first ever made picture from Mars'surface. after that success the CCCP launched the Phobos 1 and the Phobos 2, But as usual the CCCP failed.


The 90' in Mars' exploration was very useful. The USA Launched two orbiters: in 1992 the Mars Observer and in 1997 the Mars Global Surveyor. The Mars Observer failed but the Mars Global Surveyor was a success. It began to map the planet and have send a lot of photo's of Mars. In 2001 the primary mission was done. But in 2006 contact was lost and the mission was over. Although three days later they received an signal that the orbiter went into safe mode and was still operating. but the problem was not solvable.

After the fall of the CCCP, Russia launched there first spacecraft:mars 96 but it failed at launch. Russia never Launched any orbiters, lander, rovers or .space craft any more and they gave it up for Mars.

In 1996 the USA launched there first Mars rover: the Sojourner. It was a great success for the USA. (more to come...)

Mars has WaterEdit

Mars has water, but all the water is frozen in the polar ice caps. The Polar Ice Caps is the cold(est) place on Mars. The 2 polar ice caps are on the top and bottom of Mars.

==Map of Mars

south polenorth poleOlympus MonsValles MarinerisElysium Monsmie craterHellas PlanitiaKepler craterHuygens craterIsidis PlanitiaSchiaparelli CraterCassini CraterLyot CraterMa'adim VallisIsidis PlanitiaAlba PateraMars-map-elevation-c
About this image

See alsoEdit


Further readingEdit

Editors commentsEdit