Martian weather

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Martian weather is linked to the planet's inclination and to the planet's orbital eccentricity. The Wikipedia: Climate of Mars page is very complete.

Impact of weather for a Martian settlement

Solar power availability

Local dust storms

Global dust storms

Design temperatures

At the Insight landing position (4.502 °N, 135.623 °E), quite close to the Martian equator, the temperature at Mars' surface has a wide daily range of 70 to 80°C, oscillating between maximums of 0°C to 10°C above during the day and -80 to -110°C at night.[1] This is true of most of the Martian surface. Therefore it may be interesting to design cooling system for Mars settlements to profit from this swing by using thermal reservoirs to favor heat release at night.

The average surface temperature is -68°C. With an average interior design temperature of 22°C, Mars settlements insulation systems may be designed for an average temperature difference of 90°C, with peak heating loads at 130°C of temperature difference(deltaT) and minimum loads of about 0°C deltaT.

At these temperatures, care must be taken to use materials that will not suffer from an eventual glass transition. Most plastics or polymers at the extreme low temperatures may change from flexible to glasslike, become brittle and fail. Heated garages, either with infrared lighting of enclosed atmospheres may be an option for some equipment during the night. Sealant around windows or gaskets for piping and airlocks may loose their properties as well.

Coolants will also be affected by the temperature. Below -60°C, all glycol coolants, ethylene or propylene glycols, will freeze, and the water will expand and may rupture piping.

Effect of latitude

Northern hemisphere

Southern hemisphere

Influence of polar ice caps

Influence of Hellas basin


Wikipedia: Climate of Mars