There is water on Mars, and it’s easily accessible. Pack your bags, friends, because we’re headed to a new planet.
Not really, of course, but the discovery does suggest that future missions to the Red Planet would be able to attain drinking water and make rocket fuel, both of which would be crucial to their success. The discovery was made using NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), and involves “eight sites where thick deposits of ice beneath Mars’ surface are exposed in faces of eroding slopes,” according to a NASA news release.
The ice deposits could help scientists glean more information about underground ice sheets in the middle latitudes of Mars, which had previously gone undetected. Researchers believe that the ice initially took the form of snow many, many years ago. Now, however, it remains as “relatively pure water ice” though it is “capped by a layer one to two yards thick of ice-cemented rock and dust.”
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