Humanities next step in solar colonization, Mars was looked to as the next stepping stone in human progress ever since man had finished the Apollo missions to the Moon towards the end of the 20th century. The UGC took its first serious steps towards martian colonization in 2071 when they launched the first prototype "eco-dome" on Apollo. Although civilians were told it was an early model of the Bio-Domes, the structure was in fact a test bed for a future martian settlement. Just four years later launch platforms and long range spacecraft fitted with nuclear engines were under construction and plans were according to schedule. In 2083 the UGC made the announcement of planned martian colonization to the general public, and the first colony ship was completed. After nearly 2093 after a decade of numerous design changes, and near endless testing, the colony ship Endeavor was ready for its maiden voyage. After the success of the Endeavor, colonization of Mars began to go full scale, with settles heading out on tightly packed colony ships launched from The Moon, in a grant galactic manifest destiny.
The colony on Mars now boasts just over 15,000 civilians, enough that the UGC mandated the creation of a Compliance Nexus on Mars to regulate the growing population. Currently Mars functions primarily as the largest scientific experiment in human history. With thousands of scientific personal living there permanently, research is well under way in almost every aspect of the Red Planet, and its twin Moons. Meanwhile, Mars is proving to be a profitable mining venture. The enormous supplies of metals on and just below the surface is providing a lucrative industry that hopes to mitigate the resources mined, wasted, and squandered on Earth over the centuries.