Once considered a prospect for terraforming and colonization, the discovery of faster than light travel turned Mars into a quiet backwater. Its southern pole is a historical preserve centered on the Prothean ruins found there. Immigration and development are restricted as the search for Prothean artifacts continues.
- See also: Protheans: Martian Ruins
Mars was explored via various robotic expeditions for nearly a century before the first manned research stations were placed in the 2080s. The first permanent settlement on Mars was Lowell City, founded in 2103 by the European Space Agency, and based in Eos Chasma. Within a decade, both the US and China had founded permanent settlements as well. However, satellites near Promethei Planum began reporting strange phenomena that gave the region a 'Bermuda Triangle' reputation, mostly unexplained magnetic field shifts.
In 2148, a prospecting team led by Mateus Silva began exploring near the Deseado Crater, and found the source of these disturbances when they unearthed a subterranean Prothean ruin. The ruins contained a malfunctioning mass effect core and several starships, as well as refined element zero. After a global effort, the information remaining in the ruins' computers was translated, identifying the structure as a former observation and biosciences station, set up to receive and process data from Earth as the Protheans studied Cro-Magnon humans.
The motives and conclusions of the Prothean observers remained unknown, but the ruins' data cache, though fragmented, accelerated human sciences by roughly two hundred years. It paved the way for the development of FTL drives and, later, mass effect field technology.
Some of the refined element zero in the ruins, however, fell into less responsible hands. Criminal triads on Mars used it to create red sand; the drug may have taken its name from Mars' distinctive colouring and arid surface.
- Mission: Priority: Mars
Mineral Deposits Edit
Mars cannot be mined.