MARS: Valles Colony
MARS: Valles Colony

MARS: Valles[1] Colony

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RA: 06h 05m 27.4s Dec: 24° 33′ 33.9″

TERRAFORMED: 2032 – 2040 POPULATION: 16,780,000

Also to note due to the location of Mars relative to Earth, the prime planetary launch opportunity for the Red Planet occurs only once every 26 months. Depending on whether direct travel from Earth or from the Moon was required to begin terraforming.


ESTABLISHED: 2040* INDUSTRY: Mining, Refining, Light and Heavy Manufacturing.

NOTES: Valles was established to exploit vast deposits of rare-earth metals. Discovered in 1964. KEY RESOURCES: Niobium[2], Europium[3], Neodymium[4], Copper, Chromium.


Mars colony at Valles Marineris

According to my research, the only named site with Valles in it on Mars is the Valles Marineris.

Known as the Grand Canyon of Mars, this deep gulf stretches 4,000 km (2,485 mi) along the Martian Equator and is 8 km (5 mi) deep in some places. On one hand, landing a spacecraft among the steep slopes, jagged gullies and potentially fierce canyon winds would be a mighty feat, but it may well be worth the risk. Temperatures in the daytime can get close to a balmy 32° F (0° C) and it is believed that there may be spring-like deposits running beneath the deep canyon, where groundwater could burst through onto the surface. This makes it not only a good candidate for sourcing water but an ideal hunting ground to search for microbial life. Its low altitude makes for a denser atmosphere, which means better radiation shielding, and it’s probably pretty easy on the eye, too.”Exploring the bottom of Valles Marineris would be the adventure of a lifetime,” says Peck. “At those sheltered depths, what sort of geology, climate, or other fascinating discoveries are waiting to be made?”[1]


Niobium is a shiny, white metal that typically forms a film on its surface when exposed to air, turning shades of blue, green, or yellow, according to Chemicool. It has a wide range of uses from use in hypoallergenic jewellery to jet engines to superconducting magnets.[2]


Europium can be found in the ores bastnasite and monazite. The element has also been identified in the sun and some stars. Europium is produced by mixing europium oxide (Eu2O3) with a 10 per cent excess of lanthanum metal and heating the mixture under high vacuum. During the process, a silvery-white metallic substance containing europium is deposited on the walls of the container.[3]


Neodymium is the second most abundant of the rare-earth elements (after cerium) an is almost as abundant as copper. It is found in minerals that include all lanthanide minerals, such as monazite and bastnasite. The main areas are Brazil, China, USA, India, Sri Lanka and Australia. Reserves of neodymium are estimated to be 8 million tonnes, the world production of neodymium oxide is about 7.000 tonnes a year.[4]




The vast volcanic landscapes of Mars, for instance, are analogous to what geologists call the “Large Igneous Provinces” (LIPs) of Earth. These are areas where lots of lava poured out over the surface – as in, for example, Siberia, India and many parts of western North America. Elements that are extracted from Earth’s LIPs include nickel, copper, titanium, iron, platinum, palladium and chromium. Mars’ large volcanoes mountains themselves might also prove fruitful, says SETI planetary scientist Adrian Brown.”We never know what we’re going to find around the volcanic edifices,” said Brown. “But they are covered with dust” and not ideal places to land rovers for exploration. So it might be a while before we ever find out.[5]


  1. The depths of Valles Marineris, Three great places to live on Mars by Nick Lavars October 1st, 2016 https://newatlas.com/great-places-to-live-mars/45654/
  2. Facts About Niobium By Rachel Ross, Live Science Contributor | August 1, 2018 11:37pm ET https://www.livescience.com/34682-niobium.html
  3. Facts About Europium By Live Science Staff | July 15, 2013 06:54pm ET https://www.livescience.com/38186-europium.html
  4. Neodymium – Nd, Chemical properties of neodymium – Health effects of neodymium – Environmental effects of neodymium, Read more: https://www.lenntech.com/periodic/elements/nd.htm#ixzz5URRfrdA7
  5. Copper and Chromium, Mining Mars? Where’s the Ore? Should we try mining Mars? Where’s the ore on Mars if we want to mine it? Learn whether we should try mining Mars as well as where we should mine on Mars. BY DNEWS PUBLISHED ON 02/22/2010 3:00 AM EST, https://www.seeker.com/mining-mars-wheres-the-ore-1765028965.html

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