Things you need to learn before exploring Mars, part #3

Photo of Mars taken by Opportunity.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Tomorrow is the big day. You’ll be able to start your journey with Anna Persson in the Martian “Red Desert”.

You’ve already learnt a lot of terms in my previous posts (part #1 and part #2), but there’s still something you don’t know.

And here it is!

Mars’s gravity. The surface gravity (g) of an astronomical object is the gravitational acceleration experienced at its surface. Earth’s gravity is indicated as 1 g. Since Mars is smaller than Earth so is its gravity, which is 0.38 g, i.e. 38% of Earth’s gravity.
Mars colonisers feel just a little more that one third of their actual weight.

Ophir Chasma. It is a large canyon included in Valles Marineris. Ophir Chasma is located in the northern part of it, south of Lunae Planum.
This is where Anna is apparently heading for.

Ophir Planum. It is another large, flat region of Mars, connected both to Lunae Planum and Valles Marineris.
One of the habs for Hera mission (the previous failed Mars mission) is located there.

Photovoltaic panel (or solar panel). It is a set of solar photovoltaic modules electrically connected. Each module includes an assembly of solar cells. A solar panel can produce electricity from the solar radiation.
Station Alpha is equipped with a photovoltaic system, including many panels, which is the main power supply source for the habitat. A photovoltaic panel is also installed on the roof of the pressurised rovers.

Regolith. It is a layer of material, including dust, soil, broken rock and the like, covering solid rock. It is present in all terrestrial planets and moons.
Mars is covered by regolith including sand, dust, rocks and boulders.

Valles Marineris. It is a huge canyon system running approximately along Mars’s equator. It is the most complex canyon of the Solar System. There are various theories about its origins, one of which says that it was shaped by carbon dioxide escaping the deep rock layers.
This is the place that Anna dreamt to visit when she was a child.

Now you know everything you need to start the exploration. Wear your suit, lock you helmet and get on the rover with Anna.
Mars is waiting for you!

Red Desert - Point of No Return” will be published on 30 June 2014, but you can already pre-order it on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iTunes at only $0.99 or grab a pre-launch copy on Amazon. It will also be available on Google Play on the publication day.