Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Multiple sites rich in water ice found on Mars

Multiple sites rich in water ice found on Mars

However, in a game-changing development, scientists have discovered huge ice sheets on Mars and they believe that it could provide an unlimited supply of water for the humans.

Mars ice cliffs could be key to supporting life on Red Planet Mars has ice sheets more than 100 meters deep hiding beneath its red dust, offering a potential water source for future explorers of the Red Planet, according to new research.

To detect it, a group of 12 scientists used data and 3D images from two orbiting spacecrafts that examined eight locations with erosion.

However, if a sample could be drilled from one of the glaciers, researchers could learn plenty about Mars' climate history and the potential for life on Earth's neighboring planet.

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.

In 2016, a NASA study said ice may yield more water per scoop than minerals, which means the H20 could be more hard to access.

"It was surprising to find ice exposed at the surface at these places".


'There is shallow ground ice under roughly a third of the Martian surface, which records the recent history of Mars'.

Image shows modern Mars (left) dry and barren, compared with the same scene over 3.5 billion years ago covered in water (right). Radio scans by MRO suggest existence of thick, buried ice along the planet's middle latitudes.

The authors of the study have said that the latest discovery will be helpful for the establishment of a base on the Red Planet, as the water could be used for drinking, potentially create oxygen and fuel.

The results revealed massive subsurface ice sheets on the planet extending from just below the surface to a depth of at least 100 meters (328ft).

The scientists located and studied the scarp sites with the high resolution imaging science experiment (HiRISE) camera.

'Humans need water wherever they go, and it's very heavy to carry with you, ' said Shane Byrne of the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, Tucson, a co-author on today's report.

The research, using images from a Nasa spacecraft now orbiting the Red Planet, found that there are eight sites that appear to have huge ice deposits on steep slopes.

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