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For a college "Exploration of Space Environment" project, (my partner and) I need to discuss the potential tradeoffs of picking a particular landing site on Mars. More specifically: What will we gain AND have to sacrifice from landing at this specific site. For example, when it comes to landing along Mars' equator vs on one of its polar ice caps (yes, I have to specify which one), I'll have to consider: Carrying my own water (and, therefore, more weight) vs converting the ice underneath I'll still have to carry a backup supply, but an ice cap landing and utilization can lessen the amount I need to save specifically for the outpost Keeping the return vehicle at an equatorial (or even inclined) orbit vs having to set a polar orbit. As we all know, we save fuel if we launch our ascent vehicles in the same orbital plane as our target. Regional temperature Will determine how the base will be heated. (For the stock game, I don't know anything about life support mods) KSP fails to address supporting kerbals in environments with low temperatures like those on Mars. Sunlight (and radiation) exposure More radiation protection = more weight = less delta-V More sunlight = more solar power Seismic activity A region with lower seismic activity is preferable Dust storm frequency My partner and I know that it won't tip over whatever ascent vehicle we bring, but dust storms can still cause serious problems such as: Getting inside computers Blocking solar panels I know I'm simply asking for help on a college term paper (whose due date is probably extended due to the coronavirus), but this is also a great opportunity for us to discuss where we would start a Martian base. Feel free to offer your input on where we should put a base, and why. After all, the entire mission plan (base design, approach and departure strategy, surface ops) depends on it. But be aware that, whatever landing spot we decide upon, we'll be sacrificing the advantages offered by other locations. We'll also have to design our base to compensate for lost advantages. Which would ultimately determine how the entire mission would be conducted. That's what engineering is about, exploring the gives-and-takes of our mission decisions. We basically explore this concept every day in KSP, too. adding fuel tanks will mean more delta-V, but also more weight to haul to LKO using a lander engine with higher thrust may mean giving up delta-V Any and all help is greatly appreciated. Thank you. P.S. Source links would be nice. I don't think my partner (let alone my professor) would want me to cite a forum post in the reference page.