The Red Planet

Mars, otherwise known as the "red planet", is approximately 227,940,000 km from the sun (Arnett 2000).It has two moons, Phobos and Deimos, which are believed to have been asteroids captured by the planet's gravity (Sheehan 220).Mars is the 4th closest planet to the sun and it is the only other planet besides earth that at this time scientists believe could be inhabited by human life.Mars is in many ways like Earth.It has polar ice caps and is on almost the same tilted axis as earth.The similarity between the axis of Earth and Mars allow them to have similar seasons.
There have been many unmanned space travel missions to Mars that have sent pictures, video, and information about the planet back to earth.An example would be the Surveyor 98 and the Mars Pathfinder (Exploring 2000).The future of exploration includes many more unmanned missions such as the Mars 2003 Rover Mission and 2001 Mars Odyssey.
Mars is approximately 228,000,000 km from the Sun and is thefirst planet outside of Earth's orbit.It has a diameter is 6,794 km which is about one half of the diameter of Earth but is still the 7th largest planet in our solar system (Arnett 2000).Even though Mars is smaller than Earth in size, the land surface area of the two planets is about the same.The gravity on Mars is much less than that of the Earth.Gravity on Mars is approximately two fifths of the gravity on Earth (Raeburn 128).
The orbit of Mars is much like the orbit of Earth.Both are slightly tilted at nearly the same angle and direction."This tilt gives Mars four seasons similar to Earth's.However, because a Martian year is about twice as long as an Earth year, each Martian season is also twice as long" (Raeburn 415).It takes 687 days for Mars to rotate completely around the Sun.Because Mars is much further from the sun than Earth, temperatures on Mars are colder.The average temperature o…

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