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A Brief History Of Mars


1609; Keppler’s book “Astronomia Nova”. The movement of Mars along the skies help him find his laws.

1609: Keppler Announces that Mars’s orbit is not a circle, it’s an ellipse.

1659; Huygens, The Hague; November 28. He uses is home made telescope to make a drawing of Mars. Syrtis Major is clearly visible. 1st of December: He uses the movement of Syrtis Major around the Martian globe to calculate the length of the Martian day. A day on Mars is about as long as a day on Earth according to Huygens.

1666; Cassini has a go at the Martian day: 24h: 40min. That’s very close.

1672; Huygens makes drawings of the polar ice caps. (13th of March.).

1726; Jonathan Swift takes a guess, (in Gulliver’s Travels). Mars has two moons, one of them moves in the wrong direction…

1783; W. Herschel: Mars has seasons.

1830; Beer and Maedler draw maps of Mars, and choose a zero meridian. The Meridian is still in use today.

1839; They, Beer and Maedler, calculate the length of the day again: 24h: 37min: 4sec. Well, keep trying!

1862; Lockyer; drawings of Mars. Not Bad!

1864; Kaiser has a go. Maps. And the day: 24h; 37min; 22.6sec. He used Huygens his 1672 drawings, and his own!

1877; Asaph Hall his wife tells him not to give up so soon. He discovers Phobos and Deimos.

1877; Schiaparelli mentions seeing “Channels” on Mars.

1877;Newcomb uses Keplers Laws, and Asaphs Moons to figure out Mars’s mass.

1878; Schiaparelli gives names to the features he draws on his maps. The Names that are still in use today.

1879; Schiaparelli sees Olympus Mons. And Names it. “The Snows of Olympus”.

1894; Lowell has taken over watching Mars, Schiaparelli had to give up observing. Bad eyes. So Lowell decides to take over for America. He sees canals everywhere, even on Venus.

1897; Kurd Lasswitz writes “Auf zwei Planeten”.

1898; H.G.Wells. “War of the Worlds!”.

1917; Edgar Rice Burroughs uses Lowell’s Mars to create Barsoom. “Princes of Mars”.

1925: Walter Hohmann. “Die Erreichbarkeit der Himmelskoerper” Calculates the correct route to Mars.

1930; Antoniadi’s map. Best ever drawn using Earth based instruments and eyesight. Guess what… No Channels!

1938; October 30, Sunday, 20:00 h. CBS Radio. Orson W’s. Halloween version of “War of the Worlds”.

1947: G.P.Kuiper identifies CO2 gas in the Martian atmosphere.

1950: Bradbury. “The Martian Chronicles”.

1952: A.C. Clarke. “The Sands of Mars”

1952: Werner von Braun. “Dass Mars Projekt”. (Inspired by Lasswitz).

1960’s The Space Race. Von Braun versus the Russians.

Still have to look ‘m up, sorry!  Here are a few.


1964 : Mars probes still on Mars: Zond 2 L. Nov. 30 1964. Arr. Aug 1965. Lost contact Apr 1965

.1964: Mariner 4 Launched. July 14 1965 it takes the first pictures of Mars, at a distance of 16,090 km.

1971:Mars 3. Launch. May 28 1971 arr. Dec. 2 1971. Lost contact after 110 seconds. “Kaputnik”

1971: November 13. Mariner 9 in Orbit around Mars.

1973: Mars 6. Launch. Aug. 5th. Arr. march 12 1975. Lost contact before landing was completed

1976: July 20th, Viking I touchdown on Schiaparellis Golden Plane.

1997;Pathfinder, launch; December 4th .  Global Surveyor, launch, November 7th.

1997: On July 4 NASA's Pathfinder spacecraft arrived at Mars   

1997: In September the Mars Global Surveyor orbiting spacecraft reached its destination.

2001: Mars Odyssey Mission. Retry! The first probe took one picture of Mars and than crashed.  (That’s what you get when you mix up miles with Kilometres). You can admire this very expensive picture on page 30.

2084: Earth and Moon cross the solar disc, as seen from Mars. Arthur C. would love to have a look.









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