Settlements of Mars
As of 2077 there are permanent population centres established on Mars. These vary in size between 400 and 19,000 residents. In addition to these, there are outposts, facilities, and nomadic operations across virtually all regions of the planet.
Coordinates: -66, -16
Nearest landmark: Valles Marineris
Origins: US-led program
This was the first fully self-sustained colony founded in 2039 by a U.S. lead mission. The settlement is located in the Valles Marineris region. It is semi-independently operated, with economic ties and dependencies to several Earth nations.
Marineris can be considered ‘The New York’ of Mars, both in respects of its large population (the largest on Mars, plus sub colonies), a balanced mixed culture, and great economic wealth. The people of Marineris are proud and regard themselves as ‘the capital of Mars’ (much to the chagrin of other settlements).
Coordinates: 70, 10
Nearest landmark: Sytis Major Quadrangle
Origins: China-led program
Tiangong literally means “Temple of Heaven”. This Chinese funded colonization project was initially one of the largest and most ambitious. With heavy investment to become a Martian super-power, Tiangong was the fastest growing colonies, however shortly after establishing Huacheng in 2045, Tiangong had a major facility incident that caused hundreds to perish. Thanks to aid from Marineris, the incident was contained and marked an historic milestone that set a tone for peaceful co-existence for all colonies that followed. An economic correction in China at the same period resulted in scaled back investment on Mars.
Culturally, Tiangong is akin to Hong Kong with a majority of Chinese, but home to a variety of ethnicities.
Coordinates: -130, 22
Nearest landmark: Olympus Mons
Origins: US/International independent organizations
This mission colonization project was privately funded by a consortium of ‘Silicon Valley’ billionaires. San Olympus prides itself on tenacity, ingenuity and is fiercely independent. It was established a little over a year after after Tiangong
The settlement has maintained a strong ‘west-coast’ vibe with the people tending to be adventurous, entrepreneurial, and have a strong sense of social awareness.
San Olympus is culturally diverse in the western sense, but has developed a thriving Latino community.
Coordinates: 146, 1
Nearest landmark: Elysium Planitia
Origins: China-led program
Huacheng means “castle” or “fortified settlement”. After Tiangong stabilized, companies pushed East and selected a region near Elysium Planitia to break ground. Habitations were constructed in advance and new wealthy migrants from China started populating Huacheng by 2045. Of the major settlements, Huacheng was the most insular and continues to be heavily influenced by Beijing. When interest from China declined, Huacheng increasingly welcomed skilled and wealthy foreigners as demand surged from other nations.
Huacheng is more traditional Chinese compared to Tiangong. The population is dominantly Chinese. Mandarin is the primary spoken language, however, everyone is English-fluent.
Coordinates: -10, 3
Nearest landmark: Firsoff
Origins: EU-led mission
Europa is situated near the Firsoff Crater and boasts itself as the 2nd largest population centre on Mars. It was founded in 2046 and mirrors the cultural and ethnic diversity of its founding countries. It is regarded as the ‘Paris’ of Mars.
The first organized sport and football clubs were founded in Europa and is the MAFL (Martian Aero Football League) headquarters.
Novyimir (Но́вый Ми́р)
Coordinates: 30, 36
Nearest landmark: Ismenius Lacus Quadrangle
Origins: Russian-led program
Mir (Ми́р) means ‘World/Peace/Village/Community’ (also remember Mir Space Station) and Novyi (Но́вый) means ‘new’ and . It was founded in 2047 and named after the Mir space station.
Having landed in 2039, the Russian invested in a manned-explorative expedition, KMH. After extensive research and planning, the expedition broke ground near Ismenius Lacus quadrangle. Though KMH continues to operate with direct funding from Russia, Novyimir, like most Martian colonies, self-governed. This location made it the Northernmost colony on Mars.
The population is 36% caucasian with a relatively equal representation of ethnicity.
Coordinates: -35, -37
Nearest landmark: Nereidum Montes
Origins: UAE and private led program
Al-amal, meaning Hope in Arabic (and was also the name for a UAE spacecraft). Despite UAE having early presence on Mars through smaller projects and joint-ventures, Al-amal wasn’t founded until 2049.
Al-amal has strong ties with Amrita due to numerous co-ventures and shared resources.
Dominantly a Muslim population, the culture and attitudes resemble that of Dubai. The settlement is extremely well funded and features many unique luxuries.
Coordinates: 16, -28
Nearest landmark: Huygens Crater
Origins: India led program
Amrita (meaning ‘immortality”) was founded in 2050 at the same period Al-amal was under development. The population is dominantly Indian (greater than 60%) due to the pent up demand from South Asian markets.
Amrita is known for its colourful aesthetic, sense of spirituality and spice for life (literally). Amrita trades people paid exorbitant amounts to import foods and spices prior to establishing local methodologies to produce flavours that resembled that of traditional Indian cuisine at the volume required for local inhabitants. This contributed to an agricultural and culinary ‘renaissance’ on Mars.
Coordinates: -111, 3
Nearest landmark: Tharsis Monte
Origins: US Independent
Columbia Hill broke ground in 2039 at the same time as Marineris. This was the first independently funded program to break ground. It struggled financially at the end of the 2040’s and because of this did not see significant growth during the 50’s.
Columbia Hill has since stabilized and become somewhat of an exclusive place to reside, however it continues to have little aspiration to grow.
Coordinates: 35, -30
Nearest landmark: Mare Serpentis
Origins: European Independent
Wendland was an Europa-lead expansion project that was funded by private investors from Germany and the Netherlands. Wendland is dominantly caucasian, however, has a large Korean contingency (approximately 15% of the population).
Wendland is the homebase to multiple heavy machine manufacturers.
Coordinates: -76, 44
Nearest landmark: Memnonia Sulci
Origins: International Independent
Mareotis was the last Earth funded settlement. Landing in 2060 and without support from any of the existing colonies, the program struggled at its onset. The Martian Immigration policies ratified in 2062 compounded its problems making it impossible for Mareotis to satisfy its growth commitments. After securing funding from Mars-based organizations, Mareotis stabilized.
This is the only settlement that does not have issues with capacity. With 2 phases completed just prior to immigration restrictions, Mareotis was prepared to sustain 1000 permanent residents.
As a waypoint between Europa, Novyimir and San Olympus, Mareotis has reinvented itself as a ‘resort town’ on Mars, taking advantage of previously unused facilities.
Coordinates: -40, -57
Nearest landmark: Charitum Montes
Originally a remote mining facility, Chariton has become increasingly self-sufficient since 2066. Effectively still managed by Marineris, Chariton has an appointed facility manager rather than its own local council.
The majority of population work with companies affiliated with the mining operation.
Coordinates: 34, 18
Nearest landmark: Cassini
KMKN had worked this location since 2067, but due to the significant mineral deposits warranted a permanent installation, which was established in 2074. Most of the residents moved from Korolev, but job vacancies attracted numerous people from larger settlements that were looking for a change.
Coordinates: -179, -14
Nearest landmark: Memnonia Sulci
Origins: Japan Independent
Also referred to as Little Japan, Osumi was founded 2057 by a consortium of Japanese-based organizations. Much of Osumi’s success can be attributed its strategy of filling gaps in the Martian economy.
On the agricultural side, Osumi features the largest man-made saltwater pools on Mars. Having planned for this at inception, they were able to provide products and services at a scale that was not possible from the established installations.
Osumi is distinctly and deliberately Japanese. 70% of the population is Japanese expat.