Photo of Mars

Welcome to Mars. The fourth planet from the Sun, Mars is a dusty, cold, desert world with a very thin atmosphere.

This dynamic planet has seasons, polar ice caps and weather and canyons and extinct volcanoes, evidence of an even more active past. Mars is one of the most explored bodies in our solar system, and it’s the only planet where we’ve sent rovers to roam the alien landscape. NASA currently has three spacecraft in orbit, one rover and one lander on the surface and another rover under construction here on Earth. India and ESA also have spacecraft in orbit above Mars. 

Mars is at an average distance of about 228 million km (142 million miles) or 1.52 AU from the Sun. One day on Mars takes a little over 24 hours. Mars makes a complete orbit around the Sun (a year in Martian time) in 687 Earth days. Mars is a rocky planet.

Its solid surface has been altered by volcanoes, impacts, winds, crustal movement, and chemical reactions. Make sure you bring a spacesuit since Mars has a thin atmosphere made up mostly of carbon dioxide (CO2), argon (Ar), nitrogen (N2), and a small amount of oxygen and water vapor.

Figure this: Multiply your weight by .38 to determine your weight on Mars.

Okay, hope you are ready.  Your next stop will be the largest planet in our solar system.