Mars History Information And Exploration

mars history

Mars’s Evolution

Mars, sometimes known as “The Red Planet,” was named after the Roman god of battle. The planet was known as “Ares,” or battle god, to the Greeks. It is called “The Red Planet” because its rocks and soil have a crimson tint, which the Romans and Greeks associated with blood spilled in battle.

The reddish hue of the soil is owing to the presence of a high concentration of iron, and being one of Earth’s nearest neighbors, its surface characteristics are often examined via a telescope, and protracted discussions have erupted concerning the potential of life on Mars. Mars, according to scientists, is 4.6 billion years old.

Venus Planet History

The Mars Orbit

Mars’ orbit is oval in form, with a more extended pattern than that of many other planets. The Sun “rises” in the east and “sets” in the west on Mars. The planet’s perihelion, or closest approach to the sun, is 128 million miles (207 million km), while its aphelion, or furthest approach to the sun, is 155 million miles (249 million km). Mars and Earth may be as distant as 249 million miles (401 million km) apart or as near as 34 million miles apart, depending on their orbits (54 million km). Mars’ orbit lasts roughly 687 Earth days, and a day on Mars lasts 24 hours and 37 minutes.

Because Mars tilts on its axis, the Sun only reaches certain portions of the Martian surface, resulting in seasons similar to those seen on Earth.

Mars Expeditions

Because of Mars’ near closeness to Earth, multiple successful trips have been conducted. The first expedition took place in 1964 when the United States used the Mariner 4 spacecraft. This was followed in 1969 by the Mariner 6 and Mariner 7 spacecraft, which each visited the planet’s atmosphere. In 1971, Mariner 9 was sent into orbit around Mars. It was effective in detailing 90% of the planet’s surface characteristics that are presently known.

The Viking Mission was the next mission to Mars. Its primary mission was to arrive on Mars and search for indications of life. This was the first voyage to land a spacecraft on Mars, taking place between 1975 and 1976. The Viking Mission was successful in collecting soil samples but failed to detect life on Mars.

The Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor missions were launched to Mars in 1996. The Pathfinder was tasked with landing on the planet, whilst the Global Surveyor was simply tasked with orbiting it.

In 1997, the Mars Pathfinder was able to land. It sent out a little rover named Sojourner. Sojourner flew across Mars, transmitting back comprehensive images of the planet’s surface to Earth.

Despite just orbiting Mars, the Global Surveyor spacecraft was tasked with calculating the height of various elevations on “The Red Planet.” A laser beam was used to do this. It was also used to create maps of the Martian landscape.

In 2001, the United States launched the Mars Odyssey Mission probe. The circling spacecraft was able to investigate Mars’ surface and establish the existence of water ice, which is abundant at the poles.

Following this mission, the European Space Agency launched the Mars Express Mission in 2003, while the United States launched the Spirit and Opportunity missions. The primary missions of Spirit and Opportunity were to confirm the existence of liquid water on Mars and to measure sulfur levels in the soil and rocks. Spirit and Opportunity were able to send data for longer than the anticipated 90-day period.

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, launched from Earth in August 2005, was the most recent mission to Mars. It landed on Mars in March 2006 and is intended to seek intriguing spots to investigate on the Martian surface.

A Day on Mars Exploration

A day on Mars is just a few minutes longer than a day on Earth in terms of time, but lasting a Martian year would be more than 600 Earth days.

Mars lacks the heavy cloud cover that Venus has, and the oxygen content of its atmosphere is just 0.13 percent, compared to 21 percent on Earth. Carbon dioxide has the greatest concentration of any gas on Mars, at 95.3 percent.

The temperature of Mars fluctuates depending on where you are on the planet. The temperature at higher elevations is roughly – 266 degrees Fahrenheit, although it may reach 20 degrees Fahrenheit closer to the surface.

The terrain on Mars would seem to be identical to that of Earth. Mars has plains, valleys, volcanoes, and other topographical characteristics comparable to those seen on Earth. The majority of Mars’ plains are in its northern hemisphere, whereas the majority of its canyons are more evenly scattered around its Equator. These canyons are known as the “Valles Marineris,” and they stretch for roughly 2,500 km.

Although one may expect the greatest volcanoes to be found on Venus or Earth, they are instead found on Mars, with several of them matching volcanoes seen in Hawaii.

While exploring Mars, it is clear that impact basins and craters, like Mercury, are part of its topography. These impact basins and craters are more abundant in the planet’s southern hemisphere. The Hellas Impact Basin is the most well-known, measuring 1,300 to 1,400 miles in width.

Mars is the most probable planet of the planets to host life if it exists, based on the availability of carbon and liquid water. It has been speculated in recent years that Mars formerly had other life forms, or that life forms are lurking in fissures or caverns. However, no life forms have been discovered on Mars so far.

The Mars Satellites

Deimos and Phobos are two satellites connected with Mars. Asaph Hall found them in 1877. Both of these small moons are not perfectly round, with Phobos having an average diameter of 13 miles and Deimos having an average diameter of 8 miles. Phobos circles Mars every 11 hours, but Deimos takes 30 hours to complete a full orbit.

Deimos and Phobos’ surfaces are unimpressive and comparable to Earth’s moon, with many craters and impact basins. Deimos and Phobos are thought to be asteroids trapped in the gravity of Mars.

Statistics About Mars

Discovered ByKnown by the Ancients
Date of DiscoveryUnknown
Average Distance from the SunMetric: 227,936,640 km
English: 141,633,260 miles
Scientific Notation: 2.2793664 x 108 km (1.523662 A.U.)
By Comparison: 1.524 x Earth
Perihelion (closest)Metric: 206,600,000 km
English: 128,400,000 miles
Scientific Notation: 2.066 x 108 km (1.381 A.U.)
By Comparison: 1.404 x Earth
Aphelion (farthest)Metric: 249,200,000 km
English: 154,900,000 miles
Scientific Notation: 2.492 x 108 km (1.666 A.U.)
By Comparison: 1.638 x Earth
Equatorial RadiusMetric: 3,397 km
English: 2,111 miles
Scientific Notation: 3.397 x 103 km
By Comparison: 0.5326 x Earth
Equatorial CircumferenceMetric: 21,344 km
English: 13,263 miles
Scientific Notation: 2.1344 x 104 km
VolumeMetric: 163,140,000,000 km3
Scientific Notation: 1.6314 X 1011 km3
By Comparison: 0.150 x Earth
MassMetric: 641,850,000,000,000,000,000,000 kg
Scientific Notation: 6.4185 x 1023 kg
By Comparison: 0.10744 x Earth
DensityMetric: 3.94 g/cm3
By Comparison: 0.714 x Earth
Surface AreaMetric: 144,100,000 km2
English: 89,500,000 square miles
Scientific Notation: 1.441 x 108 km2
By Comparison: 0.282 x Earth
Equatorial Surface GravityMetric: 3.693 m/s2
English: 12.116 ft/s2
By Comparison: If you weigh 100 pounds on Earth, you would weigh 38 pounds on Mars.
Escape VelocityMetric: 18,072 km/h
English: 11,229 mph
Scientific Notation: 5.02 x 103 m/s
By Comparison: Escape velocity of Earth is 25,022 mph.
Sidereal Rotation Period (Length of Day)1.026 Earth days
24.62 hours
By Comparison: Earth’s rotation period is 23.934 hours.
Sidereal Orbit Period (Length of Year)1.8807 Earth years
686.93 Earth days
Mean Orbit VelocityMetric: 86,871 km/h
English: 53,979 mph
Scientific Notation: 24,130.9 m/s
By Comparison: 0.810 x Earth
Orbital Eccentricity.0934
By Comparison: 5.59 x Earth
Orbital Inclination to Ecliptic1.8 degrees
Equatorial Inclination to Orbit25.19
Orbital CircumferenceMetric: 1.366,900,000 km
English: 849,400,000 miles
Scientific Notation: 1.3669 x 109 km
By Comparison: 1.479 x Earth
Minimum/Maximum Surface TemperatureMetric: -87 to -5 °C
English: -125 to 23 °F
Scientific Notation: 186 to 268 K
Atmospheric ConstituentsCarbon Dioxide, Nitrogen, Argon
Scientific Notation: CO2, N2, Ar
By Comparison: CO2 is responsible for the Greenhouse Effect and is used for carbonation in beverages.
N2 is 80% of Earth’s air and is a crucial element in DNA. Ar is used to make blue neon light blubs.
Table 1: Concise statistics on the planet Mars (N.A.S.A. 2006)


Encyclopedia Britannica. “Mars.” 2006. Encyclopedia Britannica Premium Service. 2006

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (N.A.S.A). “Mars: Facts & Figures.” 2006

Squyres, Steven W. “Mars.” 2004. World Book Online Reference Center. World Book, Inc.

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