Cruise the Terrestrial Planets!
By Noah McKay
First up: Mercury
The first planet we will visit on our cruise will be Mercury (name origin is the Roman god Mercurius), Mercury is a short 57 million km away from the sun, which makes it typically a very hot planet. You won't have any place to dig during your trip to this hard planet, it's made mostly of nickel-iron. We will be off the planet before even 1 day passes, that's because 1 day on Mercury is like 176 days on Earth and 1 year takes 58.65 Earth days. Mercury has almost no atmosphere and there is no oxygen so keep on your space suits the entire time. It's surface has craters just like the Moon so it won't be too foreign of a surface for you space travelers.
Next Stop: Venus
The next stop along our cruise of these 3 planets is Venus (name origin from the female goddess Aphrodite). Venus is about 108 million km from the sun and it is mostly gas with a solid core and a mantle. Just like Mercury we will be stopping on Venus for less than 1 Earth Day as it takes 117 Earth days to have 1 day on Venus, it takes 243 Earth days to have 1 year on Venus. It's atmosphere is very hot because of a large greenhouse effect. It's surface is very unique because it is mostly solidified lava. Venus is a great place to take pictures before we continue on to our last stop.
Final Stop: Mars
Our final stop on this amazing cruise will be Mars (name origin from the Roman god of War. Mars is the furthest of the 3 planets from the Sun at about 228 million km away. Mars has a crust, core, and mantle just like the Earth so you will feel more at home on this planet. Mars' day is also very similar to Earth as it takes just over 24 hours to have 1 day on this red planet, it is also very similar to Earth in the time it takes for 1 year to pass. It's atmosphere is low pressure and filled with carbon dioxide. You can visit the tallest known mountain and canyon on the surface of Mars.