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A variety of locations on Mars

As you know, we here at GoobNet are big fans of the rest of the Universe.

It’s nothing against you, Earth. We’re just not that excited about most of the humans who make their homes there.

Anyway, we recently began exploring options for our first remote office. The GoobNet main office, of course, is currently located in the hippocampus. But in the interest of protecting our assets and being closer to the Universe in which we are in favour, we are planning to open a remote office on Mars. So, please allow us to share with you the results of our review of Martian geography and our search for potential office locations.

SYRTIS MAJOR

Syrtis Major is a shield volcano in the eastern hemisphere of Mars, with a maximum elevation of about six kilometres. Its slopes are much gentler than those of the Tharsis Montes. Craters in the area often see sand deposits downwind, known as plumose streaks.

The advantage of Syrtis Major is the prevalence of igneous rocks, like basalt and dactite. There is even olivine to be found in parts of Syrtis Major, as well as a variety of interesting dikes. These are protrusions of hard rock extending above softer rock that has been eroded away. It would be incredibly awesome to build a GoobNet office near one of these dikes.

CANDOR CHASMA

Candor Chasma is part of the Valles Marineris canyon system in the western hemisphere, just south of the Martian equator. The floor of the canyon at the southern end, near Melas Chasma, is made up of a grooved material that may be alluvial deposits from past water flows.

An office in Candor Chasma would give us some fantastic views of the canyon walls, plus some wonderful hiking opportunities.

ULYSSES FOSSAE

Ulysses Fossae is a depression in the Tharsis region of the western hemisphere, between Olympus Mons and the Tharsis Montes. There are pitted cones found in one area of the depression.

We certainly want to explore the Tharsis region, but we do not want to build an office on one of the montes, as the air pressure would be too low. From an office in Ulysses Fossae, though, expeditions to the Tharsis Montes and to Olympus Mons would be easy to undertake.

VASTITAS BOREALIS

Vastitas Borealis is Mars’s northern polar region, a vast lowland area. Much of the surface is made up of patterned ground, believed to be similar in origin to that found in Antarctica, where temperature variations cause the icy ground to expand and contract.

The Phoenix Mars Lander visited Vastitas Borealis in 2008 and continued to operate for about six months until the approach of northern winter. However, Phoenix observed temperatures as low as 175 K, way too cold for any of us.

TERRA CIMMERIA

Terra Cimmeria is an immense region in the southern hemisphere of Mars, located east of Hellas Planitia. Terra Cimmeria is a highland region best known for a broad array of gullies that look to have been formed by running water.

Mars Exploration Rover A landed in Gusev Crater on the northern edge of Terra Cimmeria and found an area rich in silica that may have been formed by a past hot spring. A GoobNet office in this area would give us an enormous opportunity to examine these gullies. Perhaps we can find out how recently they were formed, how they were formed, and whether they could have been a possible home for life.

So, where do you think we should build our Mars office? The dikes of Syrtis Major? The canyons of Candor Chasma? The depths of Ulysses Fossae? The ice of Vastitas Borealis? The gullies of Terra Cimmeria? Or is there another part of the Martian surface that you favour? Please share your opinions, and we’ll find out where you want us to go.

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