Water is not only available on Mars, it’s easily accessible, NASA finds

There is water on Mars, and it’s easily accessible. Pack your baggage, buddies, as a result of we’re headed to a brand new planet.

Not actually, in fact, however the discovery does counsel that future missions to the Red Planet would be capable of attain ingesting water and make rocket gas, each of which might be essential to their success. The discovery was made utilizing NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), and entails “eight sites where thick deposits of ice beneath Mars’ surface are exposed in faces of eroding slopes,” in accordance with a NASA information launch.

The ice deposits may assist scientists glean extra details about underground ice sheets within the center latitudes of Mars, which had beforehand gone undetected. Researchers imagine that the ice initially took the type of snow many, a few years in the past. Now, nevertheless, it stays as “relatively pure water ice” although it’s “capped by a layer one to two yards thick of ice-cemented rock and dust.”

The findings have been reported this week within the journal Science. The research’s lead writer, Colin Dundas of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Astrogeology Science Center, famous, “There is shallow ground ice under roughly a third of the Martian surface, which records the recent history of Mar. What we’ve seen here are cross-sections through the ice that give us a 3-D view with more detail than ever before.”

And not solely are we seeing the ice in additional element, however we’re additionally seeing simply how obtainable it might be to each robotic and manned missions. “Astronauts could essentially just go there with a bucket and a shovel and get all the water they need,” mentioned Shane Byrne of the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, the report’s co-author.

But apart from its significance as a useful resource, the ice additionally offers scientists with clues about long-term local weather patterns on Mars. “If you had a mission at one of these sites, sampling the layers going down the scarp, you could get a detailed climate history of Mars,” mentioned MRO Deputy Project Scientist Leslie Tamppari of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. “It’s part of the whole story of what happens to water on Mars over time: Where does it go? When does ice accumulate? When does it recede?”

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