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Mars from orbit

Type: Planet
Native Species: Martian insects (extinct)
Location: Martian system
Sol system
Sector 001
Alpha Quadrant
Affiliation: United Federation of Planets

The surface of Mars

For the Roman god, please see Mars (mythology).

Mars (also known as Sol IV) was the inhabited fourth planet of the Sol system. It was located near to the asteroid belt. (TOS: "The Cage", "The Changeling"; VOY: "One Small Step")

Planetary data Edit

Mars was a terrestrial planet about half of that of Earth's radius with a thin atmosphere. The reddish-orange color of the Martian surface was due to the presence of iron oxide, also known as hematite. (VOY: "Lifesigns")

Location Edit

In the late 19th century, the orbit of Mars was depicted on a German map of the inner system. (Star Trek: Enterprise, opening credits)

In 2254, the orbit of Mars was depicted on a map of the inner system, that was stored in the USS Enterprise library computer. It was one of the records scanned by the Talosians. (TOS: "The Cage", production art)

In 2267, the orbit of Mars was depicted on "Chart 14A: The Sol System" that was stored in the Enterprise library computer. The chart was scanned by the probe Nomad in Auxiliary Control. (TOS: "The Changeling", production art)

History Edit

Before the invention of the telescope, Humans discovered Mars in the night sky. (TNG: "Loud As A Whisper", okudagram)

Beetles on viewscreen

Fossil remains of Martian insects

Due to its similarity with Earth, scientists believed Mars might hold life as well. In the early years of space exploration, various theories and projects were made to justify this. Eventually, scientists from Earth discovered microscopic evidence of ancient life on Mars in 1996 in the form of insects. Larger fossils were discovered later on. (TNG: "The Last Outpost", "Datalore", production art)

The two insects were seen on library computer viewscreens in TNG Season 1. The okudagram images were taken from the Spaceflight Chronology. In the book, the insect remains were described as silicon-based lifeforms about three centimeters long. Their age was silicon isotope dated to be several million years. The fossils were discovered in the year 2021. This date would contradict the fact that silicon-based life was considered only a theoretical possibility until 2267, as established in "The Devil in the Dark".

In 1947, several members of the United States military thought Quark, Rom, and Nog were from Mars. Jeff Carlson and Faith Garland wondered if they might be able to have their honeymoon there. (DS9: "Little Green Men")

This planet was explored by unmanned NASA spacecraft in the twenty-two years that followed the launch of Sputnik in 1957. (TNG: "Loud As A Whisper", okudagram; VOY: "11:59")

In 1997, the NASA rover Sojourner became the first vehicle of its type to explore Mars; the location later became a Mars Heritage Site. (ENT: "Demons")

Having been completed in 2012, the Millennium Gate served as a model for the first colony on the red planet. It pioneered many new technologies and scientific principles like a coverage by highly-reflective solar panels and being constructed as a self-contained biosphere. (VOY: "Lifesigns", "The 37's", "11:59")

In 2032, a manned Earth mission to Mars, the Ares IV, took place under the command of Lieutenant John Kelly. (VOY: "One Small Step"; ENT: "Demons")

One of Tom Paris' ancestors piloted the first orbital glider over the lower Martian plateau. By 2069, an outpost at Utopia Planitia had been established. (VOY: "11:59"; ENT: "Terra Nova")

The Martian colonies were established in 2103. The Fundamental Declarations of the Martian Colonies were passed in or around this date. (TOS: "Court Martial") Two years later, Mars was visited by the Redjac entity who killed eight women of the Martian colonies. These colonies evolved into domed cities. (TOS: "Wolf in the Fold"; ENT: "Terra Prime")

In 2121, Mesrop Abrahamian, the son of Sean Sweeney Raymond and Kelly Kroells Raymond, was born in a settlement on Mars. (TNG-R: "The Neutral Zone")

Verteron array

The verteron array on Mars in 2155

As of the mid-2150s Humans installed a verteron array to redirect comets toward the polar caps for the purpose of terraforming. In 2155, Terra Prime - under the command of John Frederick Paxton - moved the Orpheus Mining colony from Luna to Mars and hijacked the device in order to attack Starfleet Headquarters. Thanks to the efforts of Commander Charles Tucker III, the array fired harmlessly into the San Francisco Bay. (ENT: "Terra Prime")

Mars was featured in a nonsense two-line poem that Charlie Evans forced Spock to recite in 2266: "Saturn rings around my head, down a road that's Martian red." (TOS: "Charlie X")

In 2268, James T. Kirk argued in favor of having Sargon and his companions take over the bodies of the crew, and emphasized the benefits that it might possibly have on mankind, he explained, "they used to say if man could fly, he'd have wings. But he did fly. He discovered he had to. Do you wish that the first Apollo mission hadn't reached the moon or that we hadn't gone on to Mars or the nearest star?" (TOS: "Return to Tomorrow")

In 2274, Mars served as the launch point for the colony ship SS Artemis. (TNG: "The Ensigns of Command", okudagram)

In 2328, this was the destination of several individuals via commercial transports. Jeffrey Hanley traveled from Hubble Deep Space Station on the SS Kogin and Brian Muirhead from Cape Canaveral, Earth on the Kogin. (TNG-R: "Inheritance", okudagram)

By the mid-24th century. the Daystrom Institute of Technology was founded on this planet. One of its graduates was Leah Brahms, who later returned to the institute as a professor in theoretical physics. (TNG: "Booby Trap", okudagram)

In 2363, on stardate 40759.5, the USS Enterprise-D was commissioned at the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards. (TNG: "Silicon Avatar", set artwork)

In 2364, on stardate 41025.5, the Enterprise-D was launched from the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint", dedication plaque)

In that year, a painting of Mars and its moon, Deimos, was seen in guest quarters on the Enterprise-D. (TNG: "Heart of Glory")

This painting was by Rick Sternbach. This painting was later seen in "Coming of Age", "Symbiosis", "Conspiracy", "The Bonding", and "Booby Trap".

Prior to 2366, the Daystrom Institute of Technology established a branch of their institute on this planet. In that year, Doctor Leah Brahms was a Professor of Theoretical Physics at the institute. She resided, with her husband, at the Quayle Canals Northeast, Utopia Planitia Gardens. (TNG: "Booby Trap", okudagram

In 2372, Captain Benjamin Sisko and Constable Odo planned for Joseph Sisko and Jake Sisko to take a transport to Mars to avoid being caught in Admiral Leyton's coup d'état. (DS9: "Paradise Lost")

In 2376, Lieutenant Tom Paris mentioned that one of his ancestors flew the first orbital glider over the lower Martian plateau. (VOY: "11:59")

The Kyrians in 3074 believed that Mars was the home of the USS Voyager, and not Earth as was the truth. A backup version of The Doctor corrected this error. (VOY: "Living Witness")

In an alternate timeline, Mars was wiped out by the Xindi following their destruction of Earth in 2154. (ENT: "Twilight")

Mars of 2371 was affected by the death of Gabriel Bell in 2024. (DS9: "Past Tense, Part I")

Political Edit

As the first Human colony on Mars was established in 2103, the Fundamental Declarations of the Martian colonies were an important step in the pursuit of individual rights. Among the first colonists were relatives of Jean-Luc Picard. (VOY: "The 37's"; TOS: "Court Martial"; Star Trek Generations) Utopia Planitia was established along with the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards in areosynchronous orbit above, where many famous vessels including the USS Enterprise-D, the USS Voyager, and the USS Defiant were built. Mars was also an important part in the defense of the Sol system and the location of the Mars Defense Perimeter. (TOS: "Court Martial"; TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint" dedication plaque; TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II"; Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual)

Terraforming Edit

Mars was the first planet to be terraformed by Humans. Colonists originally dwelt within domed cities while the verteron array was used to redirect comets and asteroids towards the Red Planet to impact in the polar caps. This freed carbon dioxide and released it into the atmosphere, increasing the planet's temperature and water volume. By 2155, conditions in the lowlands of the Martian surface were sufficiently altered to allow Humans to roam freely without heavy environmental suits (though one would still have to dress warmly for the near-arctic surface temperatures). (ENT: "Demons", "Terra Prime")

Literature Edit

Mars was often featured in science fiction stories of the 20th century. In 1953, Benny Russell met a vendor in Harlem who found "men from Mars" to be unrealistic. After Douglas Pabst told Russell an African-American in charge of a space station was "not believable," Herbert Rossoff angrily retorted "And men from Mars are?" (DS9: "Far Beyond the Stars")

Other references Edit

A product known as "Mars Toothpaste", based on the name of the Roman god, was manufactured on the fourth planet of the 892 system in 2268. (TOS: "Bread and Circuses")

People Edit

Locations Edit

Appendices Edit

Related topics Edit

Appearances and References Edit

Background information Edit

An illusory version of Mars was originally to have featured in TOS: "The Cage", with "an almost fairybook vine-covered cottage on one of the rural can-farms of Mars." The story outline for "The Cage" includes not only that description but also makes mention of frequent Martian "hay rides," such as Barth races that the Colonists Grange Society is planning, as well as "a fifty-mile sled ride down the Great Slopes" on the evening after the Barth races. (The Making of Star Trek, pp. 57-58)

During the early days of Star Trek, new writers repeatedly pitched story ideas that sent the Enterprise to Mars. In 1966, Gene Roddenberry stated, "We have instructed all of our writers that Mars must be avoided. It's not far-out enough for us. Our time period is 200 years from now. By that time, Mars will already have parking lot problems from Human colonists." (Star Trek Magazine issue 171, p. 40)


The Enterprise flying by a planet which bears striking resemblance to Mars during the TOS-opening credits of the remastered versions

The remastered versions of Star Trek: The Original Series show the prominent red planet familiar from the original opening sequence to bear striking resemblance to Mars. Indeed, the producers used real photographs of Mars as textures for this computer-generated shot, showing a large canyon, which was in fact one of the most famous landmarks on Mars: "Valles Marineris", the deepest and longest canyon in the entire Sol system. Furthermore, the large cloud formation lies directly over the "Tharsis plateau", which is a region of increased cloud formation on Mars, too. If the producers really intended the planet to be Mars remains unknown so far. However, the color of its atmosphere glows pink near the day-night boundary, which would contradict this theory, as the Martian atmosphere appears blue during sunrise and sunset. On the other hand, this change of color could be a byproduct of terraforming.

In TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II", Mars was shown without any visible surface features besides the poles. Whether intentional or not, this is very similar to the planet's appearance during a global dust storm.

According to Star Trek: Star Charts, (p. 32 & "United Federation of Planets I"), Mars (or Sol IV) was classified as a K-class planet. In 2030, Aries I, the first manned Earth ship landed on the planet. In 2103, the United Martian Colonies, the uniglobal government of Mars, was founded. Utopia Planitia was the seat of government. The first flag of the UMC was based on a painting of a bullfighter on velvet. In 2161, Mars was a charter member of the United Federation of Planets. In 2378, Humans were the dominant species on the planet and there were 133.8 million inhabitants living on Mars. Points of interest were Olympus Mons, Valles Marineris, and the Utopia Planitia fleet yards.

According to the Star Trek Encyclopedia (3rd ed., p. 290), Mars orbits Sol with a mean distance of 228 million kilometers. Furthermore, it is stated, "Earth scientists first discovered microscopic evidence of ancient life on Mars in 1996." On this last point, the authors wrote,

""Future's End" and "Future's End, Part II" (VOY) were filmed in August 1996, just a few days after NASA's historic press conference announcing the discovery of possible microfossils in a Martian meteorite. Since that episode was set in late 1996, the Voyager art department put a large photo of the microfossil (with the caption "take me to your leader") as well as a newspaper clipping describing the finding into Rain Robinson's laboratory. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine scenic artist Anthony Fredrickson also commemorated the discovery by putting the code number ALH84001 on the mines laid by the Defiant in "Call to Arms" (DS9). ALH84001 was the code number of the meterorite in which the possible microfossil were found."

Apocrypha Edit

In the Star Trek: SCE novel Aftermath, Boothby was identified as a Mars native, an homage to Ray Walston's role as the title character in My Favorite Martian.

External links Edit

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