The National Mall in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Top section of the marker:
This tiny sphere is the planet Mars at one 10-billionth actual size. Its small moons can't be seen at this scale.
If Mars were this big, how far away would the Sun and other planets be? Look at the map on the lower panel to find your position in the solar system.
Bottom section of the Marker:
Voyage to Mars
It seems almost Earth-like here, like a desolate spot in a desert. But the air is far thinner than atop Earth's highest mountains and mostly carbon dioxide. In the summer, near the Martian equator, the temperature typically reaches 60°F (17°C). But at night it falls to a chilling -130°F (-90°C).
Earth Invades Mars!
Near the northern wall of Gale Crater, NASA's Curiosity rover readies to drill into rock for the first time on another planet (see image at left). In the distance is 3.4 mile (5.5 km) high Mount Sharp, Curiosity's destination at the crater's center. Many more robotic spacecraft will journey to Mars. One day, will humans follow?
Life on Mars?
Long ago Mars was warm and wet, but its channels, tributaries, and flood plains are now dry. On Earth, water is a key ingredient for life, so perhaps life once existed on Mars as well. Deep in the Martian soil, shielded from the Sun's harmful rays, life may still exist.
Walk to Asteroids and Comets about 28 steps
Exploring the surface of Mars is comparable to exploring all the continents of Earth.
Walk to Earth about 12 steps
Voyage is an exhibition of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education and the Smithsonian Institution. It is designed for permanent installation in communities worldwide.
Erected 2013 by Smithsonian Institution.
Location. 38° 53.323′ N, 77° 1.129′ W. Marker is in The National Mall, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on Jefferson Drive Southwest, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. On the grounds of the National Air and Space Museum. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20565, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Earth (a few steps from this marker); Venus (a few steps from this marker); Asteroids and Comets (a few steps from this marker); Mercury (a few steps from this marker); Sun (a few steps from this marker); Voyage (within shouting distance of this marker); Jupiter (within shouting distance of this marker); T.S.C. Lowe's Observation Flight (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in The National Mall.
Categories. • Air & Space •
Credits. This page was last revised on December 5, 2017. This page originally submitted on November 24, 2017, by Devry Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 55 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 24, 2017, by Devry Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.