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Mars


Before Doom starts the stories goes that you were transferred to Mars for assaulting a superior officer for ordering his soldiers to fire at civilians, once you hear destress signals from Phobos you teleport there to help out. Then the game begins. Paul Jaquays indicated that part of Doom 3 might take place on Mars.

Mars is the forth planet from the sun. It is the seventh largest planet and the third smallest in between Venus and Pluto. The diameter of Mars is 6,794 km which is about half of earths and it weighs 6.4219e23 kg. Mars is 227,940,000 km or 1.52 AU (AU stands for astronomical unit, the distance from the earth to the sun 150 million km aprox) One Mars day is not much longer than an earth day. The average temperature is -30 C and its seasons are similar to earths but they last much longer. The atmosphere on Mars is very thin and made up of 95.3% carbon dioxide, 2.7% nitrogen, 1.6% argon, .15% oxygen and .03% water. Mars has two ice caps at each pole made from frozen carbon dioxide (dry ice) there might be water ice underneath the southern pole but it is still unknown. Mars has two natural satellites, the moons Phobos and Deimos
Photo taken by the Hubble Space Telescope



Photo of the Mars Pathfinder on the surfact of Mars
The planet is named Mars after the Greek god of war but the Roman god Mars was a god of agriculture. At night Mars can be seen with the naked eye, its brightness varies according to its position relative to earth, because of this it has been known since prehistoric times. There are some planetarium programs and web sites at Planetarium Software that shows where Mars is an a particular time. The surface area of Mars is about the same as the land area on Earth. There are a number of interesting features of the surface of Mars such as the Olympus Mons, the largest mountain in the solar system reaching 24 km. The Valles Marineris a system of canyons 4000 km long and 2 to 7 km deep, which could have been made by liquid such as water or lava. Hellas Planitia a crater made from an impact in the southern hemisphere which is more than 6 km deep and has a 2000 km diameter. The ice caps can change the global atmospheric pressure by about 25% when the seasons change.


The northern hemisphere consists of vast plains on its surface and is much younger and lower in elevation than the southern hemisphere which is covered in accent craters. Space craft that have successfully visited Mars include : Mariner 4, Mariner 6, Mariner 7, Mariner 9, Mars 2, Phobos 2, Viking 1, Viking 2, Mars Observer and Mars Pathfinder part of the Mars Surveyor Program. The Hubble Space Telescope has taken a number of pictures. Mariner 4 was launched after Mariner 3 failed when its protective shroud failed to eject as it went into space so it couldn't collect the suns power with its solar panels. Mariner 4 reached mars in 1964 and took the first close-ups of Mars, after which scientists claimed that Mars was both biologically and geologically dead. Mariner 6 was launched on Feb. 24, 1969 and did a fly by of Mars taking a number of photographs using a visual imager, ultraviolet spectrometer, and temperature sensors. Mariner 7 was launched on Mar. 27, 1969 and has a mission similar to Mariner 6. Together Mariner 6 and 7 returned 143 as they aproached Mars and 58 as they flew by it. Mariner 9 was launched after another failed mission, Mariner 8 that failed to launch. Mariner 9 in 1971 was the first craft to orbit the planet and showed volcainos and caynons never before seen.

Mars 2 was Launched on May 19, 1971 was the first craft to deploy a lander successfully on Mars it measured the gas constituents, the pressure conditions in the gas envelope (how pressure varies with altitude) and recorded the temperatures of the night side of Mars. Phobos 2 was launched on July 12, 1988, it went into orbit of Mars and did studies of the surface, atmosphere, and magnetic field. Viking 1 launched on Aug. 20, 1975 it had a lander that made the first soft landing on Mars, it was equipped with a number of atmospheric sensors and searched for Martian micro-organisms. It also took the first surface pictures of Mars and revealed that it's sky is a red-pink colour not blue as previously thought. Viking 2 was launched on Sept. 9, 1975 as with Viking 1, Viking 2 had a lander that made a soft landing and did similar studies of the Planet. Together Viking 1 and 2 returned more than 4,500 pictures from the landers and 51,539 from the space craft, which where used to map 97% of the surface of Mars. Mars Pathfinder was launched on December 4 1996 and landed successfully on Mars on 1997 July 4, it has a lander with a veichel (Rover) inside that can perform various tests on the planet.

Hubble Space Telescope was launched in April 1990 and after having problems with its primary lens was fixed in December 1993, it is capable of taking high quality images in space, being outside the earth atmosphere gives it a better range with out the interference. Hubble took sever images of Mars showing that it was much colder and drier than the Viking craft showed during their missions.

Bibliography

Web:
·Mars
·Mars Spacecraft

Book:
·The Hamlyn Encyclopedia of Stars & Planets, by Antonin Rükl, edited by Storm Dunlop, Published by The Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited, a division of the Octopus Publishing Group PLC, 1988.
·Geographica, Published by Gordon Cheers and Random House Australia, 1999
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