Mars, also known as Sol IV, known as Edom in the Forerunner era, is the fourth planet of the Sol system, and one of four terrestrial worlds. One of the first human interplanetary colonies, Mars is a major industrial center and one of the largest in the Sol system. Mars is home to the UNSC Navy's primary shipyards and the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers' headquarters in the city of Kenosha, Tanais.
Circa 97,445 BCE, ten thousand years after the human-Forerunner wars, Forerunner Miners worked on Mars. Bornstellar Makes Eternal Lasting was sent to work into a step family of Miners as punishment for his rebellious ways. Inspired by his ancilla's tales of Precursor treasure, Bornstellar eventually escaped and made his way to Earth aboard an automated transport. During his stay on Mars, Bornstellar climbed the planet's highest volcano, Olympus Mons.
In 2080, Mars was the first planet colonized by humanity in the first wave of interplanetary colonization in the late 21st century. Following its colonization—largely driven by corporations eager to break free from the restrictions of Earth's gravity and international law—Mars quickly became a hub of industry and state-of-the-art scientific research. Advancements were made particularly in the areas of nano- and biotechnologies; largely robotics-driven industrial manufacturing and spacecraft construction flourished, the latter most notably in the Argyre Planitia. Even before the planet was terraformed, Mars was one of the largest industrial hubs in the Sol system. With the advances in terraforming technology that accompanied this boom of technological development, Mars was transformed into a planet with near-Earth conditions, becoming home to many.
During the Interplanetary War, Mars became the first colony to rebel from Earth's control. During the events that led up to the war, Mars was home to numerous activists and anti-Earth insurgents. When the first shots of the war were fired, many Martians aligned themselves with the neo-communist Koslovics.
Mars was the site of a decisive battle during the events surrounding the formation of the United Nations Space Command. The Koslovics attempted to seize control of the shipbuilding plants in the Argyre Planitia, but were repelled by a series of blitzkrieg attacks by the newly-organized UNSC Marines in a series of brutal battles in 2163. This victory marked a significant boost in the morale of the United Nations forces, and the nascent UNSC subsequently moved on to destroy the Koslovic and Frieden movements throughout the Solar System. After the war ended in 2170 with the signing of the Callisto Treaty, remaining rebels on Mars were put down in a series of harsh crackdowns on the planet.
On January 18, 2524, a telescope located on or orbiting Mars spotted an anomalous, evidently artificial object while observing the stellar cluster NGC 2244; while unknown to humans at the time, this was actually the Covenant planetoid station High Charity.[note 1]
On April 2, 2526, UNSC forces working with ONI agents prevented an attack on New Harmony. Two Insurrectionists, Christina Rice and James McCann, were disguised as Army specialists and were stealing nuclear weapons for a possible attack. Throughout the war, the UEG kept plans for an evacuation of industrial facilities away from Mars and Earth, which were eventually put into action following the Fall of Reach and the believed compromised location of the human homeworld.
During the Covenant's assault in the Sol system in late 2552, Mars was attacked by the Covenant following the arrival of the High Prophet of Truth's fleet. Mars was the site of a large-scale engagement called the Battle of Mare Erythraeum, set on the fields of Mare Erythraeum. There, Colonel James Ackerson and his UNSC Army forces combated against the Fleet of Furious Redemption's ground forces, commanded by Jiralhanae Chieftain Lepidus. The UNSC lost the battle and Ackerson was taken prisoner. While the UNSC resistance was crushed, the human population centers on Mars survived the Covenant assault relatively intact. The Martian defense on the planet is credited for delaying Covenant forces from pressing their invasion on Earth.
After the Human-Covenant War, an ONI surgical and research facility and a UNSC Spartan base were established on Mars, which augmented and housed the SPARTAN-IV supersoldiers. As the UNSC continued to rebuild in the years following the war, the orbital shipyards located on and around Mars remained its primary shipyards.
List of appearances