Water is one of the basic building blocks essential for the sustainability of humans. Thus, space agencies like NASA are exploring the world beyond our planet. Currently, the one and only most precious resource for deep-space crewed missions is water, as it will assist astronauts in residing in space. Thus researchers aim to locate water suitable for drinking and creating rocket fuel. To help in the effort to seek water on Mars, NASA has developed a treasure map. Notably, it highlights the probable ice locations on the Martian surface. The latest chart relies on the remote sensing data relayed by NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). It reveals regions in the higher latitudes of the Red Planet where water ice may exist just under 2.5 cm of the surface. Maybe in the upcoming years, Mars visitors would easily access the ice.
Researchers have developed the water map using two types of colors – cold and warm. The calm colors signify the existence of ice near the surface. Whereas, warm ones indicate ice is buried under the Martian surface. Conventionally, mission planners have favored focusing on the warmer regions that have plentiful sunlight or are near to the equator. But the latest data from satellites and Phoenix lander of NASA, reveals that the center to polar latitude seems better to establish human-crewed stations.
Sylvain Piqueux, from NASA’s JPL, said it would not require a digger to unearth the ice. As per the executive, even a scoop will work there. Scientists are continuing to gather information regarding hidden ice on Mars. Even more, they are resetting in on the best places on the Red planet to land astronauts. All in all, locating ice reserves on the neighboring world is essential to support future crewed missions to Mars. As water is dense, it is impossible or challenging to ferry it aboard rockets. Thus, finding water sources will be beneficial. But the planet has a fragile atmosphere, so mostly water evaporates quickly over there. As a next move, researchers aim to extend the survey to notice how the subsurface ice transforms during various seasons on Mars.