|Type:||Dwarf Earth/Martian Earth|
|Satellite(s):||Deimos, Phobos, Torros|
|Population:||482 000 000|
Mars, the 4th planet from the star Sol, is an autonomously governed planet in the Sol System, and a minor dependency of the GCN. Though now under the GCN umbrella, Mars retains autonomy due to its government's antiquity, which pre-dates the rise of the GCN, and has its own military. It was the first planet in the solar system to be terraformed and the only planet completely settled before the rise of The Great War.
- Main article: Martians
Mars is loosely divided into a number of nations, based solely on their location. The Martian people originated on Earth, and have numerous ethnic backgrounds. They speak a variety of languages, but the official language of Mars is Martian, a dialect of English.
Mars is notable for its racial harmony, something which has yet to be achieved at such unprecedented levels on Earth and many other planets under GCN rule.
Due to the differences in gravity and atmospheric pressure between their original home on Earth and Mars, modern Martians exhibit a number of physical differences from Terrestrials. For more on these differences, see Martians.
As a result of early human activity, Mars is rich in plant life, though it was initially devoid of life. Most of the Martian surface is dominated by genetically modified grasses, lichen, composites and legumes. Unlike Earth-native plants, Martian plants were engineered to produce more Carotenoids and Anthocyanins than Chlorophyll, an adaptation that enables them to absorb more light in the (terraformed) Martian atmosphere, and helps Mars to retain its "Red Planet" title.
Most notably, Mars also features red algae in its upper atmosphere, as a result of at first accidental and later deliberate action by human settlers. This atmospheric algae thrives in the moist Martian atmosphere, but presents a few challenges to those on the surface. Algal blooms can result in toxic rain, and algae laden clouds can occasionally suffocate plants with algae-rich rainfall. For this reason, the Martian Meteorological Service carefully monitors and controls the growth and spread of atmospheric red algae, so as to prevent the proliferation of toxic strains and damage to crops due to overwhelming amounts of algae in rainfall.
Mars was initially explored for settlement by man in 2030, at which time the first manned missions were carried out. These involved multi-national bodies as well as numerous private ventures, that eventually joined as one to explore the possibility of forming a permanent settlement in 2045. By this time, growing plants on Mars had already been attempted, and by 2047, at least one company had begun a successful crop business on Martian soil.
By 2080, Mars had a thriving, permanent population, and was already in the process of terraformation.
The terraformation of Mars began around 2064, when advances in technology made possible by earlier experiments opened the door for a rapid transformation of the planet at minimal cost. Initially, it was supposed that seeding the planet with life would be a slow and painstaking process, but by utilizing new technologies and a better knowledge of extremophiles, Martian settlers were able to quickly enrich the planet with the building blocks needed for the next phase of its transformation.
2100 to 2150Edit
One of the greatest challenges facing the early Martians was the planet's lack of a magnetic field. Without it, life on Mars would always be limited to hiding artificial shelters to escape bombardment by cosmic rays. To solve this problem, an elaborate system of solar-powered electromagnets was devised. Starting from 2100, Martian engineers worked round the clock (with the use of machines, of course) to cover the planet with eletromagnetic shields, which would provide areas of safety where plants and even some animal life could survive without the need for an external shelter. This effort was combined with a larger, more ambitious effort, to find a way to provide a permanent solution that could give the planet a working magnetic field and provide more freedom to its denizens.