|Mars : Sol IV
|United Empire of Earth
└ Sol system
└─ Orbiting Sol (star)
|3,396 km (Real)
339.6 km (Ingame Scale)
|1.5237 AU (Real)
0.15237 AU (Ingame Scale)
|1.666 AU (Real)
0.1666 AU (Ingame Scale)
|1.382 AU (Real)
0.1382 AU (Ingame Scale)
Over the millennia, it has been called the Fire Star, Horus the Red, Angaraka, and the Red Planet. Now it's known by only one name: Mars.
A prosperous and populous planet, Mars was the Empire's first successfully terraformed planet. The process was marred by what is today known as the Mars Tragedy when a terraforming disaster killed 4,876 people in 2125.
Because Mars lost its magnetosphere early in its existence, its original atmosphere was slowly stripped away over billions of years. By the time humans first began to explore the planet the atmospheric pressure had been reduced to only 0.00628 atmospheres. Subsequent terraforming has transformed the atmosphere and environment into a fully habitable state. Note that the figures below represent the composition of the atmosphere prior to colonization.
Push For the Stars
"If we look back in our species' history, back before we had multiple systems to expand into, back when we were exclusively living in Sol, there was real concern about scarcity of resources. At the time, overpopulation was threatening the very existence of our species and it was that crisis which lead to the settlement of Luna and the terraforming of Mars, both of which were major technological leaps forward"
Dr. Janelle Taglion, author of "Scarcity Theory".
In 2120, after years of simulations and tests, the governments of the world pool their knowledge and resources to attempt the first planetary conversion. The test subject: Mars.
Teams of surveyors were dispatched to the planet surface to generate topographical maps, to decide Atmo-Processor placement, and test surface samples for possible contaminants to the new oxygen environment.
It was our first top-to-bottom exploration of our nearest planet and the Governments of the World weren't going to leave anything to chance...
The Great Mars Tragedy
At 04:38 EST in 2125, 4,876 people perished due to a technical error in the terraforming process. it was believed at the time that a chemical miscalculation in the planetary atmospheric processors made the new atmosphere unstable. "(The atmosphere) didn't stick," said a government official who asked not to be named. The planet was in the final stages of terraforming. An oxygen-sustaining environment had been in place for the previous two weeks. The scientific community on the planet were still vetting the system but were two days away from officially declaring the planet secure.
This confidence in the atmosphere meant that none of the crew were wearing the appropriate breathing apparatus. While technically a violation of operating protocol, there was no indication for the ground crew to assume that the atmosphere was anything but stable. Whatever was ultimately responsible happened so fast that no one was able to sound an alarm or seal the ventilations of the various installations around the planet.
"While I understand that the notion of terraforming stirs emotions both for and against, the four thousand eight hundred and seventy-six souls died working to push humanity forward, we need to make sure that whatever decision we come to, we move forward honoring the sacrifice made by the heroes of Mars. "
Other theories regarding the nature of the disaster later emerged.
"It took nearly ten years of media investigation to wheedle the truth out of the government that maybe, possibly, the AI in the terraforming project had been at the heart of the Mars catastrophe of 2125. By then, nobody wanted to hear about it.
Of course, even that wasn't the first AI disaster. The so called 'Lemming Car' incident in 2044 Tokyo holds that honor. But less than 100 years later, the government decided that it had worked out the kinks in AI systems and shipped one off to Mars. Of course, they didn't tell us about it, just in case they were wrong.
The Day of the Mars Tragedy is a holiday in the UEE which remember these events.
Mars Tragedy Memorial
Near Port Renatus stands the memorial which was dedicated in a ceremony by Senator Stephen Nguyen and commemorates 4,876 people who died during the event. It was installed in 2157.
A Habitable Mars
After almost forty years of trial and tragedy, on March 18, 2157 - Mars was officially classified as an oxygen-sustaining environment. A memorial to those who passed in the Great Mars Tragedy of '25 was unveiled after the official declaration with Senator Stephen Nguyen as the keynote speaker. His brother, Sean, was one of the many lost in the Tragedy of 2125.
The Extraterrestrial Child
Senator Stephen Nguyen had just finished his speech and unveiled the Memorial. It was a night of a tremendous Human accomplishment. It was about to be a night of two.
A shrill cry pierced the music, instantly drawing the attention of the Senators, dignitaries and scientists. They quickly found the source: Kinah Okon, one of Port Renatus' engineering supervisors. Originally from Nigeria on Earth, she had been part of the project for several years along with her husband Madu. More importantly though, she was seven months pregnant with the couples' first child. Medical staff on the base had closely monitored the baby's progress, even going as far as recommending a transfer back to Earth, but Kinah refused to abandon what had become her passion project.
On-site medics quickly escorted Kinah and her husband to the infirmary. At 01:28 SET, Abeni Okon became the first Human born on a different planet. It was not without its complications, and Abeni had to spend several weeks under careful observation.
Abeni was eventually released from the medical station to her parents, who were finally able to take their daughter home. Something else was waiting … Fame.
The media orgs stalked Abeni, broadcasting every step of her life. As Mars developed and people began to escape the desperately overcrowded Earth, it became increasingly difficult for the Okon family to evade the throngs of curious and worshipful.
It seemed like only a matter of time before this unending scrutiny would trigger a backlash. In her late teens and early twenties, Abeni seemed to just give up and embrace the adulation and attention.
She could be found at every bar and party willing to pay for her appearance. She embarked on ridiculous business ventures and generally wasted the money that had always been around for her. Media coverage began to take a darker turn: that of a damaged ship fighting to stay aloft when everyone knew a crash was inevitable.
The crash did come, but it was not as public as people thought it would be. Abeni was leaving a launch party one night when she was confronted by the usual press of fans outside. There were no drunken fights or bottles thrown, just an exchange of words, and then Abeni was gone.
After that night, she receded from the public spotlight without a single explanation of why and started working in local community outreach programs. She moved often, heading to areas that needed the most help and always further away from the fame that had nearly consumed her.
Abeni made one final public appearance. In 2232, at the age of 75, she was the guest of honor at the launching of the Artemis. Standing at the podium, flanked by Captain Lisa Danvers, Mission Director Justin Cobb and distinguished Heads of State, Abeni had this to say:
"There are moments to be proud of. By all accounts, I am the one who doesn't deserve to be at this gathering, standing beside these people like I belong. I am here simply because I existed. I achieved a fame and notoriety through no action or pursuit of my own outside of being the child of my parents. But there are people whose bravery and dedication move Humanity forward, not solely from their actions. They force us all to look at ourselves and demand that we do better. I have tried to live better, but I want to hear from the real heroes."
Abeni Okon, the first extraterrestrial human
That was the last time that she appeared in public and the closest anyone got to an explanation about her sudden change all those years ago. Abeni Okon died on 2252-09-12 SET at the age of 95.
The first extraterrestrial Human was laid to rest with a simple headstone on a hillside on Mars: the world that she helped feel like a second home for Humanity, whether she liked it or not.
Built around the first settlement on Mars, Port Renatus is the oldest non-Earth city in history. Described as a living museum, this modular city has elements from Humanity's entire evolution through the stars represented somewhere in the city.
Only 6,000 kilometers away, Phobos orbits Mars so fast that it appears to rise in the west and set in the east twice every Martian day.
With a radius of only 6.2 kilometers, Deimos's size and lumpy shape bear more of a resemblance to an asteroid than a moon.
- News Update: The Observist. Spectrum Dispatch - Comm-Link
- Showdown: "Scarcity Theory". Spectrum Dispatch - Comm-Link
- Time Capsule: Give These People Air. Spectrum Dispatch - Comm-Link
- Time Capsule: A Dark Day. Spectrum Dispatch - Comm-Link
- News Update: Will We Never Learn?. Spectrum Dispatch - Comm-Link
- Galactapedia: Mars Tragedy Memorial. Galactapedia. Retrieved 2021-03-24
- Time Capsule: Blue Skies on Mars. Spectrum Dispatch - Comm-Link
- This Day in History: The Extraterrestrial Child. Spectrum Dispatch - Comm-Link