When Mars One invited people to apply for a one way ticket to Mars, we didn’t think anyone would be interested. But, 202,000 applications later, we stand corrected. Mars One have now whittled this number down to a mere 1,058 hopefuls ranging from age 18 to 81 and hailing from no fewer than 107 countries. Dying on Mars truly holds a global appeal.
Hebes Chasma, a huge trough on Mars, reflects the Red Planet’s tumultuous and varied past. During the planet’s first billion years, the nearby Tharsis Region bulged with magma, then burst apart, forming enormous chasms such as Hebes (a majority of its 315-kilometer length shown above). More than four times as deep and wide as the Grand Canyon, Hebes may have once been filled with water; some areas have minerals that could have formed only in water’s presence. New images from the European Space Agency’s Mars Express spacecraft show that massive landslides may have shaped and widened the trench since its violent birth.
I was also intrigued by a crater shown at the 1:50 mark, which looks like it got filled by a landslide off a nearby hill. Mars isn’t what you might call geologically active, but it does commonly suffer landslides and avalanches when the frozen carbon dioxide ice under the surface sublimates (turns directly from a solid into a gas), which can dislodge material. If that happens at the top of a hill or cliff, material can cascade down dramatically. I strongly suspect that’s what we’re seeing in this video.