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Book Chapter

A background to Mars exploration and research

By
Alistair S. Bargery
Alistair S. Bargery
1
Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YQ, UK
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Matthew R. Balme
Matthew R. Balme
2
Department of Earth Science, Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA, UK
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Nicholas Warner
Nicholas Warner
3
Department of Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2PB, UK
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Colman J. Gallagher
Colman J. Gallagher
4
Geography, Planning & Environmental Policy, Newman Building, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
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Sanjeev Gupta
Sanjeev Gupta
3
Department of Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2PB, UK
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Published:
January 01, 2011

Abstract

Mars is the fourth planet in our Solar System and orbits roughly 230×106 km from the Sun. It has an orbital period of 687 Earth days and a solar day that is approximately 40 min longer than an Earth day. Mars is less dense and has half the radius of the Earth, and so has about one-tenth the mass; hence, the surface gravity of Mars is about four-tenths that of the Earth. Mars has no oceans and its surface area is therefore almost as large as that of Earth's continents. In this chapter, we present a summary of the Martian environment, global geography and geology, and provide some background on the missions and instruments that have played a role in developing our current understanding. Our aim is to provide a broad overview for those unfamiliar with Mars, rather than providing an exhaustive summary of every aspect of the planet's evolution.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Martian Geomorphology

M. R. Balme
M. R. Balme
Open University, UK
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A. S. Bargery
A. S. Bargery
Lancaster University, UK
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C. J. Gallagher
C. J. Gallagher
University College Dublin, Ireland
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S. Gupta
S. Gupta
Imperial College London, UK
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Geological Society of London
Volume
356
ISBN electronic:
9781862396043
Publication date:
January 01, 2011

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