Water Might Be Easier To Find On Mars Than We Thought

Water Might Be Easier To Find On Mars Than We Thought

Optimistic timelines put our arrival on the Red Planet some time during the 2030s.

But beneath the dust of Mars lies frozen water, and a new study has found that erosion is exposing that water ice.

Although water ice deposits are known to exist from previous Mars missions, this new study analyzed the vertical structure and thickness of ice sheets using high-resolution imagery and topography from the HiRISE instrument on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

It extending downward from depths as shallow as 1 to 2 meters below the surface, which could preserve a record of Mars' past climate, the researchers noted in the journal Science.

"This kind of ice is more widesp".

Billions of years back, Mars was likely substantially wetter than it is today. Lead author of the study Colin Dundas of the U.S. Geological Survey's Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff said that although he is not familiar with the resource extraction technology, but the discovery can prove to be beneficial for future crewed missions to Mars.


Those recently identified layers recommend that the ice was set down over some stretch of time, through a procedure that happened more than once. The near-surface ice and the large deposits of ice that are exposed on the surface are connected, or part of the same geological feature. The snowfall could have occurred as of late as a huge number of years prior, Dundas says. "Our research may be useful information but it will be up to them to determine how to use it".

But before you start packing your bags and preparing for your new life as a Martian, there's one major problem: All eight sites that are suspected of having clean water ice are located about 55 degrees north or south of Mars' equator, where temperatures are incredibly low. As they continue scanning the surface of Mars for other regions with ice, they hope to compare the conditions of differing regions to get a better understanding of how each spot is unique. This indicates that Martian surface contains enormous amounts of ice.

"There's unquestionably some measure of tidy and flotsam and jetsam in it, and there can be little measures of salts or different things too, yet what we're seeing at the scarps are predominately ice", he includes.

The discovery could add fuel to NASA's efforts to send humans to Mars, one of the objectives President Donald Trump cited last month when he directed the space agency to focus its efforts on returning to the moon. Excessive salinity is a potential problem that would require future colonists to bring clunky desalination devices to the Red Planet.

Finding water on Mars is always exciting.

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