I give my Martian settlers a pair of pressurized rovers in Glory on Mars, classic pieces of science fiction equipment for exploring planets. As the movie The Martian shows, NASA is planning pressurized vehicles for their human exploration of Mars, too. It’s an obvious need on a frozen, nearly airless world.
I had a classic scifi rover in mind as I wrote: The Chariot from Lost in Space, which was based on a Snowcat. A boxy shape seems perfect. Martian air isn’t dense enough for a vehicle to need streamlining, and a cuboid shape offers the most interior space on a pair of treaded tracks. My rover can be driven by the colony’s Artificial Intelligence and be tracked by a satellite system – advantages the Robinson’s of Lost in Space never had.
The Chariot has more windows than I gave my settlers, and I had to fit in an airlock and life support systems. But I still like the look of the old classic.
See more about my books here. In Glory on Mars, settlers take a one-way journey to Mars, and that may be a mistake. It’s vital for them to explore in their robotic rovers – they need to find minerals if the colony is to succeed. But that’s not as easy as it sounds, even surrounded by the immense dead volcanoes of the Tharsis Plain.