NICE LITTLE NUMBERS MARS BLOG Saturday 27th February 2021


As last week the USA’s NASA landed Perseverance on Mars. I thought it may be interesting to look at some MARS NUMBER. Both the planet and the chocolate bar. So, here goes.


1          38.6 MILLION – How far is Mars from Earth? The answer to this question varies quite a bit. Both planets are in orbit around the sun and a single year for each planet (one complete orbit around the sun) takes a different amount of time. A year on Mars lasts for about 687 Earth days or 669 sols (Mars days). The distance between Mars and Earth will vary greatly depending on where each planet is in its orbit. At its closest approach to Earth in 2020, Mars was about 38.6 million miles (62.07 million kilometers) from Earth, per NASA. That’s about the exact same distance it’ll be from Earth when the planets have another close approach in 2022. (Those happen roughly once every two years.) As explains, the closest the two planets could theoretically get is 33.9 million miles. Though, the closest we’ve seen the two was 34.8 million miles in August 2003. When the planets are as far away from each other as possible, they could be as many as 250 million miles apart. For reference, on average, Earth is about 93 million miles away from the sun. 

2          204 – How long does it take to get to Mars? There are a whole lot of factors at play, like the distance and how you think you’re getting there. (A rocket you made up or on the path which NASA has sent rovers?) Of particular relevance, Perseverance is about to complete this trip. It took the rover about seven months to get from Earth to Mars. Perseverance launched on July 30, 2020, and is slated to arrive at the red planet on February 18, 2021. That’s 204 days, which is less than the 253 days it took curiosity to get to Mars in 2012. Though, that’s not the fastest, either. Mariner spacecraft 6, 7, and 9 all got there in 168 days or less, per

3          6,791 – Mars is the second smallest planet in the solar system after Mercury. With a diameter (distance through the middle) of 6,791 kilometres, it’s roughly half the size of Earth.

4          Minus 140 –  It can get pretty cold on Mars –– much colder than our own planet, since it’s further away from the sun. At the equator, temperatures can reach 20°C, but at its poles they can plummet to as low as -140°C. Brr!

5          78,740 – Mars is home to the highest mountain in our solar system –– a volcano called Olympus Mons. Standing a whopping 78,740 or  24 kilometres high, it’s about three times the height of Mount Everest which is a mere 29,035 ft high!

6          1 day – A day on Mars is 24 hours and 37 minutes –– only a little bit longer than a day on our own planet

7          687 – A year on Mars, however, is almost twice as long, lasting 687 Earth days! This is because it takes a lot longer than Earth to complete its orbit around the Sun.

8          227,940 – Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and last of the terrestrial planets and is around 227,940,000 km from the Sun.

9          2018 – Until recently, scientists believed that there was no liquid water on the surface of Mars –– only rocks, soil dust and ice. But… News flash! In 2018, they found evidence of a lake under the planet’s south polar ice cap.

10        26 – Only 26 of the 56 Mars missions have been successful. Beginning with the USSR’s Marsnik 1 which was launched in 1960, 39 orbiters, landers and rovers have been to Mars but only 16 of those missions were a success. In 2016, Europe’s Exobiology on Mars program will search the planet for signs of Martian life as well as study the surface and terrain of the planet and map potential environmental hazards to future manned missions to Mars.

11        50% – The Sun looks about half or 50%  its size half it does from Earth when seen from Mars. When Mars is closest to the Sun in its orbit the southern hemisphere points toward the Sun and this causes a very short but fiercely hot summer. In the north it experiences a brief but cold winter. When the planet is farthest from the Sun, Mars experiences a long and mild summer because the northern hemisphere points toward the Sun. This is compared with a cold and lengthy winter in the south.

12        25.9 – Mars has seasons like Earth, but they last twice as long. This is because Mars is tilted on its axis by about 25.19 degrees, which is similar to the axial tilt of the Earth (22.5 degrees).

13        2 – The two moons of Mars, Phobos and Deimos, were written about in the book ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ by author Jonathan Swift – 151 years before they were discovered.

14         4 – But Mars also has a deep and wide canyon known as Valles Marineris, after the spacecraft (Mariner 9) that discovered it. In some parts, the canyon is 4 miles (7 kilometres) deep. According to NASA, the valley is as wide as the United States and is about 20% of the Red Planet’s diameter.

15        4,213 – In terms of actual size, Mars (approximately 4,213 miles, or 6,780 km. in diameter) is only about twice the size of our Moon (about 2,160 miles, or 3,475 km).7 Aug 2015

16        13,263  – The equatorial circumference of Mars is  13,263 miles (21,344 km). This is the distance you would have to go if you wanted to travel completely around the equator of Mars. Earth’s circumference is 24,860 miles (40,008 km).

17        4 BILLION – Perseverance, which launched in July 2020, cost US$2.4 billion to build and launch and will cost another $300 million to land and operate during its first year on Mars.

18        40 – Mars rover landing: NASA warns only 40 percent of Mars missions have been a success



1          1932 – It was first manufactured under the Mars bar name in 1932 in Slough, England by Forrest Mars, Sr., son of American candy maker Frank C. Mars.[4] He modelled it after his father’s Milky Way bar, which was already popular in the US

2          2 – Mars is the No.2 best selling chocolate bar in uk.

3          81 million – Mars Bar Estimated Sales Numbers: 81 Million Sold Per Year.

4          58 –  58 g is the weight of the regular Mars Bar

5          260 -The regular 58 g single bar contains 260 calories.

6          3 million – Three million Mars Bars are produced in the UK every day at a factory in Slough

7          50,000 – In 1932, Frank C Mars gave his son, Forrest, $50,000 and the formula for Milky Way, to go to the UK and start his own business. He established Mars Limited, in Slough.

8          2d –  In 1932 when first made the Mars Bar retailed at 2d. That is less than 1p in today’s money.

9          75 – 75p-sh is the current price of the Standard Mars Bar. 51 g

10        2,000,000 – More than two million bars were made in the first year 1932.




1              Mariner 4              28-Nov-64            NASA United States           Successful                                            

2              Mariner 6              25-Feb-69             NASA United States           Successful                                            

3              Mariner 7              27-Mar-69            NASA United States           Successful                                            

4              Mariner 9              30-May-71           NASA United States           Successful                                            

5              Viking 1 orbiter    20-Aug-75             NASA United States           Successful                                            

6              Viking 1 lander    20-Aug-75             NASA United States           Successful                                            

7              Viking 2 orbiter    09-Sep-75             NASA United States           Successful                                            

8              Viking 2 lander    09-Sep-75             NASA United States           Successful                                            

9              Mars Global Surveyor 07-Nov-96   NASA United States           Successful                                            

10           Mars Pathfinder   04-Dec-96             NASA United States           Successful                                            

11           Sojourner              04-Dec-96             NASA United States           Successful                                            

12           Mars Odyssey      07-Apr-01             NASA United States           Operational                                          

13           Mars Express        02-Jun-03              ESA Europe                          Operational                                          

14           Spirit (MER-A)    10-Jun-03              NASA United States           Successful                                            

15           Opportunity (MER-B) 08-Jul-03      NASA United States           Operational                                          

16           Rosetta                  02-Mar-04            ESA        Europe                   Successful                                            

17           MRO                      12-Aug-05             NASA    United States        Operational                                          

18           Phoenix                 04-Aug-07             NASA United States           Successful                                            

19           Dawn                     27-Sep-07             NASA United States           Successful                                            

20           Curiosity

(Mars Science Laboratory) 26-Nov-11            NASA United States           Operational                                          

21           Mars Orbiter Mission

 (Mangalyaan)     05-Nov-13            ISRO India                           Operational                                          

22           MAVEN                18-Nov-13            NASA United States           Operational                                          

23           ExoMars Trace

24           Gas Orbiter            14-Mar-16   ESA/Roscosmos Europe/Russia  Operational                                        

25           InSight                   5-May-18              NASA United States           Successful

26           Hope                      19-Jul-20               Emirate Mars Mission   Operational Entered orbit on 9 February 21

27           Tianwen-1             23-Jul-20               CNSA-China  –    Operational – Entered orbit on 10 February 21

                                                                                                                Expected landing May 2021

28           Perseverance`       30 July 2020         NASA United States           Successful Awaiting Deployment







To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all. – Oscar Wilde


Happiness is…exploring Mars with a Mars bar.


I’ve got a new job drilling holes for water.

It’s well boring.


Love is… not having to hold your trumps in.


A time to fly me to the moon and let me explore it…A time to fly me to Mars and let me explore it.


1964 – February 27 For the first time ever, all ten spots on the UK Top Ten were UK acts, led by 21-year-old Cilla Black’s version of “Anyone Who Had A Heart”.


2016 – February 27  Elton John gave a free, surprise concert outside of the old Tower Records building in Los Angeles. John performed an hour-long set of his hits to thank the city of West Hollywood for its support of his AIDS Foundation and his Academy Awards Viewing Party.


2019 February 27 Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch was put back on the market at the dramatically reduced price of $31 million. The original asking price for the 2,700-acre property in Santa Barbara County, California was $100 million in 2015 and later dropped to $67 million. Jackson’s estate changed the name of the complex to the Sycamore Valley Ranch, which is said to include a 12,000-square foot house, guest houses, a lagoon-like swimming pool, and a basketball court.




©2021 Phil M Robinson