Mars facts at your fingertips...
Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and is named after the Roman god of war. Its surface is composed of a thick layer of oxidized iron rock. This chemical composition causes the planet to harbor some of the largest dust storms in the solar system. Mars is also home to the tallest mountain in the world, Olympus Mons, which is 21 kilometers high and 600 kilometers in diameter; that’s about two and a half times the size of Mount Everest!
Distance from the Sun:
145.6 million miles
Diameter: 4,212.3 miles
Length of Day: 24.62 hours
Length of Year: 687 days
While manned missions have remained financial and logistical impossibilities, unmanned missions began in 1960. There have been 56 Mars missions so far, of which 26 have been successful — a testament to the difficulty in reaching the red planet.
Beginning with the USSR’s Marsnik 1 which was launched in 1960, 39 orbiters, landers and rovers have been to Mars but only 16 of those missions were a success. In 2016, Europe’s Exobiology on Mars program will search the planet for signs of Martian life as well as study the surface and terrain of the planet and map potential environmental hazards to future manned missions to Mars.
Visit Mars on the TSC Solar System Walk!
Visit the entire SSW and collect all 9 planet passports and submit for the Brownsville Fitness Challenge Prize…
the future is a…
Mars was once believed to be home to intelligent life. This came from the discovery of lines or grooves in the surface called canali by Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli. He believed that these were not naturally occurring and were proof of intelligent life. However, these were later shown to be an optical illusion.