In parts of Mars, ice is only a few centimeters below the surface, according to researchers at Nasa. The discovery can make it much easier to visit our neighboring planet.
If we are to colonize Mars in the future, access to water will be crucial. Both as drinking water and to be able to extract rocket fuel, for example.
The fact that there is water on our neighboring planet has long been known, but now scientists at Nasa have released what they call a “tax map” where they have mapped out how easily ice is available under the surface. It has been published as part of an article in the scientific journal Geophysical Research Letter.
“You wouldn’t need any excavator to dig up the ice. You can use a shovel. We continue to collect data on where ice is buried on Mars, to try to find the best landing spot for astronauts, “said Sylvain Piqueux, lead author of the report, in a statement.
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The research team has used data from two space probes, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) and Mars Odyssey. They have used data from, among other things, heat sensors, radar and a special tool on board the Odyssey that is used to find pockets of ice under the surface.
On the map, the researchers point out suitable places for a Mars expedition to land on, or where a possible future research base could be built. One such conceivable site is a plain in the northern hemisphere of Mars called Arcadia Planitia.