• A graphic shows Mars’s and Earth’s orbits around the Sun.
  • Because Mars’s orbit is different from Earth’s, there is one launch window every 26 months.
  • The distance from Mars to Earth is between 55.7 and 401 million kilometres, depending on its orbit.
  • Using current technology, it would take over two years for a team of astronauts to travel to Mars and back.
  • Mars is half the size of Earth.
  • Mars is one tenth the mass of Earth.
  • There are 687 Earth days in a year on Mars; that’s how many days it takes for Mars to make one revolution around the Sun.
  • There are 365 days in a year on Earth; that’s how many days it takes for Earth to make one revolution around the Sun.
  • The length of a Martian day, known as a “sol,” is 24 hours, 39 minutes and 35 seconds.
  • The average temperature on Mars is minus 55 degrees Celsius. When the sun is shining in the summer, the temperature near the Martian equator can reach 20 degrees Celsius, but it drops to minus 100 degrees Celsius at night!
  • The highest wind speed recorded on Mars is 144 km/h.
  • Water has been found on Mars in the form of vapour, ice and snow.
  • The height of Olympus Mons, the highest known mountain in the solar system, is 26 kilometres, over three times the height of Mount Everest.


Average Distance from Sun93 million miles142 million miles
Average Speed in Orbiting Sun18.5 miles per second14.5 miles per second
Diameter7,926 miles4,220 miles
Tilt of Axis23.5 degrees25 degrees
Length of Year365.25 Days687 Earth Days
Length of Day23 hours 56 minutes24 hours 37 minutes
Gravity2.66 times that of Mars0.375 that of Earth
TemperatureAverage 57 degrees FAverage -81 degrees F
Atmospherenitrogen, oxygen, argon, othersmostly carbon dioxide, some water vapor
Number of Moons12


(Image Credit: Canadian Space Agency)


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