It's no secret that Elon Musk and SpaceX want to eventually set up a Mars colony. A couple Mars travel posters aren't going to convince some nonbelievers to go there, but maybe some sweet new art will serve as a sign to the diehards that the Red Planet is still the goal.
On Friday, SpaceX released three vintage-looking travel posters for some of Mars's more exotic locales. Let's take a quick look at them:
All images: SpaceX
As the poster suggests, Olympus Mons is the highest peak in the solar system. It's roughly three times taller than Mount Everest and, as with many of Mars's peaks, it's volcanic (whether it’s currently active or not is a subject of debate). The thing is positively massive—if you superimposed it on Earth, it would cover much of France.
Phobos and Deimos are Mars's two moons, both of which are much smaller than our own. Of them, Phobos is probably more interesting for humans. NASA is already looking into ways to create a human transport vehicle to explore Phobos, and Buzz Aldrin believes that it might make a good place to set up an initial Martian base. From there, quick missions could be run from Phobos to the Martian surface. Phobos, interestingly, looks kind of like a potato—that's because it's so small and so close to the Martian surface that it's own gravity can't force it into a spherical shape.
Valles Marineris is a canyon system that runs for roughly 2, 500 miles east-to-west near the Martian equator. It's about 3 miles deep at its deepest, and part of the canyon appear as though it was formed by flowing water.
We're probably not going to visit any of these places in the near future—even if we do end up heading to Mars soon, there are more hospitable places to settle. But if colonizing Mars isn't extreme enough for you, climbing Olympus Mons certainly seems like a worthy goal. Best of all, like the other photos the company has released lately, these have a Creative Commons 0 copyright, meaning you can do whatever you want with them.
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