Mars

Green Mars
Image from Steve Bowers
Green Mars (without clouds). The pressure in 4500 AT reached 600 millibars, at that point the inhabitants of Mars decided not to fully terraform their world, since the entire surface population had been genetically modified to thrive in the conditions prevailing at the time.

Carbon Dioxide levels on this world are high, and may be dangerous to unmodified humans; nitrogen levels are comparatively low, despite many thousands of years of N2 imports. Oxygen levels at the datum altitute are comparable to those at sea-level on Earth.

Since 4500 the pressure has increased slightly, as the warming crust has outgassed volatiles over time; but the pressure is not likely to rise any higher than 700 millibars

Mars - Data Panel

SystemSolsys
Planet:Mars, Sol IV
Planet Type:EuArean Subtype, partially terraformed
Distance from Primary:1.52 AU
Diameter:6794 km
Density:3.94 gm/cm3
Gravity:0.379 G
Day Year:24.6 hours / 686.98 days
Axial Tilt:25.19°
Satellites:Little remains of the original Phobos and Deimos; much of the mass of Deimos remains as an anchor for the space elevator (see below)

Mars Elevator
Image from Steve Bowers
The Deimos anchorweight keeps the Martian Elevator in tension


Atmosphere:Original: 0.007 atm (CO2, N2)
Current: 0.7 atm (O2, CO2, N2)
Average Surface temperature:
Original: -83°C to -33°C
Current: -21°C to 15°C
AIAI overseers: Mars currently has no AI oversight, although a number of transapient entities make their home there. Many of the most powerful Solar Organisation transapient entities maintain a presence on this ancient world.
PolityName: Mars Republic (Reformed).
Symbol: Mars Flag (The 'Red-Green-Blue')
Affiliation: The Solar Organisation / Formalhaut Acquisition Society .
Notes: The current Mars Republic is the oldest continuous government in the Solar System. However it is much more decentralised than the original Republic, and most regions and habitat-states are fairly autonomous.
Psyche, Art, CultureMetapsychology: proud, individualist, patriotic, occasionally xenophobic
Religion/Ideology: Realigned Temples of Humanity, Universal Church, Martian Ecopaganism
Culture: Remnants of Old Earth culture persist in the Martian cities, and in isolated settlements in the outback.
Language: Martian (official language) with several dialects spoken; however you can get by with SolOrg Anglish in most places
Territory and PopulationPopulation:
surface: Present population is approximately 67 million sentients, mostly tweaks and a few ais and vecs.
orbital: about 200 million, a mix of nearbaselines, heteromorphics, vecs, cyborgs, bioborgs, tweaks, and others.

Population breakdown (surface):
Martian tweak - 50 million
AI and Vec - 4 million
Near-baseline - 1 million
other sapients - 12 million

Territory: Mars and Cis-Martian space only
Immigration and Emigration:Surface: minimal
Orbitals: about 5 million per annum

Government Type Cyberdemocracy, UniversaL panspecific suffrage
Administrative Divisions: 139 Administrative Districts, most with a high degree of regional autonomy
National Holidays: Landing Day, Declaration of Republic, Anniversary of Resettlement, Red Day, Green Day, Blue Day
Constitution: Republic
Legal system: Conforms to all Solar Organisation Standards
Foreign Policy: Member Polity of the The Solar Organisation. Close Trade, Cultural and Ideological links with other member states

Blue Mars
Blue Mars in 10600 A.T. Despite the slightly low atmospheric pressure, the scale height of the atmosphere is quite high, and affords a reasonably good shield against stray cosmic rays.

Economics, Local InfrastructureEconomy: free market with some controlled aspects
Currency: Red Dollar
Major Industries: agriculture, high tech goods, robotics, edutainment
Angelnetting : in some orbitals and cities
Major Orbitals: Population Centers(Surface): Major settlements include Robinson (site of the first manned base and former capital of the Martian Republic), Xianhongshan (Scarlet Mountain), the present capital Olympia (with breathtaking views of nearby Olympus Mons), Labyrinth City (in the Noctis Labyrinthus), Chaos, Tharsis, Mariner City (in the Valles Marineris), Ius, Tithonius, Coprates, New Cydonia City, Aresopolis and Lucky Strike. New cities in the SolOrg period include Zephyria and Airy-0.
TravelMajor Spaceports: Areostat Terminus on the Martian Beanstalk
Beanpoles : One- descends from a repositioned Deimos to Fons Juventae
Hazard Rating : orbital 0.0 to 0.2; surface 0.1 to 3.5
Visa Restrictions: Two to three month waiting period for a surface visa; this period can be considerably shortened if one has the right contacts and/or can find a bribeable official.
Freedom of Movement: Some family estates and ranches are invitation-only.
Environmental Requirements: Respirator or oxygenator nano generally required for non Martian-tweak on the surface
Sites of Interest: Spirit and Opportunity heritage museums

A Martian Tweak of the Pre-Nanoswarm Era

Mars Tweak
Image from Steve Bowers
An early Martian tweak, adapted to very low pressure environments (these tweaks did not remain on the planet once the atmosphere of Mars passed 100 millibars), and members of this clade have migrated to many locations in the Terragen Sphere since this time, particularly New Mars

A Martian Tweak of the Current Era

Mars Tweak
A Martian tweak from the current era, adapted to the atmospheric conditions that exist on Blue Mars. These tweaks are tolerant of the high levels of carbon dioxide and low nitrogen levels found on this world. Additional nostrils at the top of the nose allow the tweak to breathe in and out in a cyclic fashion, absorbing oxygen more efficiently especially at altitude.

Mars: the Red, Brown and Green world

The first planet outside Earth and Luna to host a permanent occupancy, and for a while the greatest superpower the Solar System has seen, Mars retains a romantic air even to this day. Mars was colonised in the Early Interplanetary Age, and the process of terraforming was started soon after. But it turned out to be much more difficult than first thought; the regolith was salty, and sulphurous; there was little water, and economically important metal ores were relatively rare. The nanoswarms severely damaged the original terraforming program, and Mars never recaptured the glory of the Interplanetary Age.

After a brief economic, political, and cultural renaissance during the First Federation era (there was talk of shifting the Federation Capital from Vesta to Robinson), the world suffered a series of drastic ecological crises. Apparently some of the biotic nanites from the original nanoswarm disaster had exchanged genetic material with local terraforming micro-organisms. The organisms thus produced remained harmless for many centuries, until they were accidentally hybridised with some new Genen bugs. This in turn triggered a major economic depression that brought down the economy.

During the Expansion era most of the population resettled in orbital biospheres or out-system (New Mars was a popular destination for the old tweak clades, who already had clan and family links, while the baselines preferred Ajarran's World, New Europe, and Michelson).
After the establishment of the Solar Organisation Mars became one of the two most important worlds in the Solar System, together with Luna. From 7544-8600 c.e. Mars was the capital of the SolOrg, and new cities were built in the outback; Zephyria and Airy-0 remain populous and distinctive centres. Mars experienced a second golden age at this time, but it lasted barely a thousand years. Today Mars remains a fairly sparsely populated planet, inhabited by the proud Martians and the large settlements of The Realigned Temples of Humanity.



brown mars
Image from Steve Bowers
Brown Mars in 2390 c.e.: with a surface pressure of 200 millibars and rising, the planet could support dark green, genetically engineered plants which produced oxygen

Martian Timeline

5 b.t.Red Mars: Mariner 4 - first successful Mars Flyby
6 a.t.Viking 1 and 2 - Mars Orbiter and Lander
27 a.t.Mars Global Surveyor / Mars Pathfinder
35 a.tMars Rovers Spirit and Opportunity
60 a.t.Mars mission vessels Discovery and Endeavour depart for Mars.
62 a.t.Ships arrive at Mars. Teams are landed at Isidis and Chryse.
65Martian Pioneers arrive back at Earth. Space exploration reverts once again to unmanned probes
143Robot probes discover what seems to be water in the area of Noachis Terra near a crater in the southern hemisphere. Upon confirmation a small group much akin to the 20th century Biosphere 2 project was sent to build and crew a small temporary research colony in the area to ascertain the extent of the water concentration and possible biological content there in.
146After building the colony base 'Noachis Alpha', the results of the water finding mission were less than hoped for. Very little evidence was found and though the base is quite capable of sustaining a full time science team it is abandon a few short months later when it is noticed that what was mistaken for liquid water turns out to be a a thin layer of water ice over a dense layer of CO2 vapor and hydrocarbons.
155The first full scale mars colony is completed and is christened 'Port Robinson', after information age fabulist and visionary Kim Stanley Robinson who envisaged and described the colonisation and terraforming of Mars. (Not, as is sometimes claimed, after an even earlier tale of a marooned Swiss or Space (details of nationalities differ) Family Robinson).
183The baseline inhabitants are complemented by a genetically altered group specially tweaked to survive in a Martian-type environment with minimal assistance, although many of the alterations doom them to an unnaturally short life span (this was later rectified through medical bionano and further genome tinkering).
196The first of a series of comets is diverted to impact on Mars.
215Surface pressure 30 millibars. First gengineered microbes are introduced.
216Inner council formed to provide a legal template for new colonies and space usage rights in the inner solar system. Council membership is 80% Terran with neural interfacing to several net resources, including an Earth based hyperturings. Council holds considerable power initially, but with the rapid rise in power of the orbital colonies, several secede in relatively quick succession over a period.
221Neogen species discovered in Martian atmosphere, allegedly gengineered for terraforming program. Gengineering is now mainstream, but many are uneasy about neogengineering so this causes a bit of a stir. A law is hastily passed by the Inner Council banning several neogen species throughout the inner system (in which the council still has power). Regulations on specific areas of neogen research are also established.
233Mars/Cisluna war (more)
251Serious tensions between the Martian normals and cyborgs who wish to continue terraforming, and the Mars tweaks who will find themselves in an environment they can no longer survive. Alliance between Mars tweaks and a baseline minority called the 'reds' (eco-activists), both of which wish to retain the original Mars for different reasons, results in several minor acts of sabotage.
266Surface pressure 60 millibars. Continued small asteroid and comet impacts to raise temperature and increase water content. Gengineered microbes are thriving.
All dates in the After Tranquility calendar
comet impact mars
Image from Anders Sandberg
Comet impact 21600123-5 striking Hellas Planitia, the designated main target area on the southern hemisphere of Mars. The constant stream of ice packages from the outer system striking Mars at regular intervals did not cause much problems for near-planet traffic control and did in fact keep the Mars alliances well supplied with volatiles for their orbital habitats. Only a handful of accidents did occur, the most serious when 22070712-1 hit a settlement in the Terra Tyrrhena after an unexpected very strong outgassing a few minutes before impact.

281Mars is well on the way to being transformed through terraforming. Previously a glacial desert, through nuclear detonations in the crust and beneath the poles the albedo has been lowered and water vapor has been freed. Kuiper belt ice is being imported and gengineered microbes are being used to make the planet livable for unprotected humans, a project expected to take at least two centuries more.
288The Lagrange Magshield is deployed, an artificial magnetosphere which protects Mars and its atmosphere against the solar wind.
331Surface pressure 150 millibars. At this time Mars is the most populous colony planet, with a population of 90 million humans. It is formally divided into 24 independent regions, each having a seat on the planetary council (which mainly manages the terraforming effort). The council convenes in the new capital at Phobos City.
381Brown Mars Many of the Mars tweaks have long since departed for the Belt and Oort cloud. Population of Mars (through migration and natural population increase) has reached 600 million. Most of the big megacorporations have shifted their base of operations here. Mars is one of the three great Superpowers, along with Orbital Alliance and the Jovian League. Surface pressure 180 millibars.
431Port Robinson is now the hub of a vast city that rivals even the huge cities of 'Luna Tyco' and New York, supporting over one hundred million of the best and most idealistic of the Terran peoples, it is considered the gateway to the outer planets and has a huge spaceport to support it.
481Surface pressure 220 millibars. While the atmosphere is still too thin for baselines, many of the population is tweaked or bioborged to cope with it, and for those who aren't, most of the cities are still pressurised. The planet is already suffering some pollution from the industry established here, although this is ably dealt with by nanotech. Population two billion, chiefly in the big megapoli like Robinson Central Complex, Phobos City, and Cydonia City. Mars is the greatest superpower in the solar system, equivalent to America at the turn of the 21st century. Strict immigration policy prevents newcomers to the promised land.
542The Nanodisaster in the Solar System reaches Mars. The first wave of nanite swarms strike the red planet. Widespread panic. However blue goo defences hold.
610Blue goo defences fail; martian ecosystem crashes. Great loss of life, although some refugees escape to surviving orbitals, others to the Belt or the outer solar system. The swarm-ravaged Mars is occupied by Titanite invaders for many decades.
648Mars Orbital habitats hold millions of refugees from the planetary surface, and from Earth; shortages of food and overcrowding cause severe social problems for more than two centuries. The Titanite occupation of Mars ends- for more than a hundred years the Red Planet is almost completely empty of inhabitants.
circa 781ai-designed blue goo reaches Mars and begins cleaning up the planet.
1041Mars is opened for unrestricted settlement by biologicals, provided they have the necessary augments.
1081Resettlement of Mars, terraforming begins anew, various gengineered biota introduced.
1230In terms of status and prestige, Mars is once again the greatest world in the Solar System. The First Martian Golden Age. The capital is now Olympus City.
1281Surface pressure 300 millibars. Mars has an almost earth-type atmosphere and oceans, although the terraforming is not yet complete.
1521Surface pressure 500 millibars. Unexpected bionanogoo resulting from hybridisation of dormant bionano from the original nanoswarm disaster accidentally hybridised with new Genen microbes trigger a number of drastic ecological crises, resulting in a major economic depression that brings down the economy.
1700Widespread off-planet migration.
3531Green Mars: Surface pressure 600 millibars. Remaining Martians once again vote to reject plans to finish terraforming the planet.
3731Authenticity purges; many extrasolar species of nearbaseline humanity are expelled from Mars. This leads to the Authenticity war.
4452New Martian Federation established; a totalitarian regime based on surveillance and memetic control. Mars goes into another decline and the population drops once more.
4653End of the Version War; refugees from New Mars and other mars-like worlds are drawn to the old red planet.
4981The influx of refugees leads to a more cosmopolitan society; the 'New Federation' is dissolved.
5301Human supremacist groups attack Earth with some support from Martian factions; retaliation by GAIA results in a war in the Solar System, with loss of millions of lives on Mars
5575Blue Mars: 700 millibars. The atmosphere has considerably less nitrogen and considerably more carbon dioxide than the atmosphere of Old Earth; unmodified baseline humans still need to use breathing apparatus or biotech adaptations to avoid CO2 poisoning. The partial pressure of oxygen on Mars is, on the other hand, comparable to that of Earth.

Mars becomes capital of the Solar Organisation; this period is sometimes called the Second Golden Age.
6631Mars Republic secedes from the Solar Organisation for two hundred years; when it returns it is a relatively junior partner.
7731The Realigned Temples of Humanity are established, drawing together many disparate groups of humanocentrics and Back-to-Earth activists.

mars flagmars federation flag
Images from Tony Jones
Note on the martian flag. As with many non-ai governed polities, Mars has seen a lot of changes in its many millennia long history. This is reflected also in changes in the flag, of which there have been at least a dozen. The original Mars flag (above left) was changed during the reconstruction during the First Federation, got changed back during the authenticist purges of the 5700's, and then was changed back after the Authenticity War. The flag at the right represents the 'New Federation' from 6421 to 6950. Today the old flag is still used by some ultra-orthodox Martians.

Fiction related to Mars

The Great Martian Caper.
Traveller's Notes: Mars .
 
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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev, Curtis Moore, Anders Sandberg, Tony Jones, Steve Bowers and Damon Court.

Initially published on 10 June 2000.

References
TERRAFORMING MARS: A REVIEW OF RESEARCH - Martyn J. Fogg
Technological Requirements for Terraforming Mars - Zubrin, McKay