Mars is habitable. It has an oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere of nearly 80.1 kilopascals. Its slightly higher carbon dioxide level (0.095%) creates a global warming effect, giving it temperatures in the summer (within 10 degrees of the equator) of nearly 15 C. or 59 F., with a Viking-1 reading in 1976 of nearly 70 F.
Water, though a smaller percentage of the atmosphere than on Earth, exists and low-lying pockets of water exist below the Martian surface, as well as at the Southern Pole.
No sapient life is present, but fungal/algae plant-life and hexapodal insect life form the basic eco-system.
The first fly-by probes of the planet occur in 1965, landings are made by Soviet and American probes in the early to mid-1970s, and the first manned landing occurs on August 7th, 1986 by the American "Ares-1" mission. It is colonized in the mid-1990s.