NASA exposed new images from the Red Planet and they are showing something rather exciting. Namely, there are layers of ice with water reserves peeping out of the corroded cliffs. A possible benefit for the future manned missions?
The eroded cliffs throughout the Mars’s mid-latitudes expose subterranean blue-grey material. Moreover, the colors of the layers firmly imply they are actually huge water reserves.
With finding layers of water ice hidden beneath the Red Planet’s surface, scientists have indeed made a really large step.
One of the biggest difficulties of staying on Mars for a period of time is the necessity of taking everything necessary to sustain human life.
If we could extract water from the planet, we wouldn’t have to take too much with us when we leave Earth.
This discovery not only adds a critical detail to the history of Mars but also reshaped the way humans will get water when they eventually stop there.
“This is a new window into ground ice on Mars,” stated Colin Dundas, the U.S. Geological Survey geologist who co-discovered the ice layers.
Long time now scientists have hypothesized about possible ice water reserves in the underground of Mars.
In 2002, the NASA Odyssey mission studies the planet from orbit and identified symptoms of shoal ice at high latitudes.
Also, in 2008, the NASA Phoenix mission excavated water ice when it landed nearby the Martian north pole.
Furthermore, in 2016, scientists used the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to discover an ice layer at Mars’s mid-latitudes which hosted water with quantity equal to Lake Superior.
However, until Dundas’s study, they strived to understand the amount and accessibility of Mars’s water reserves.
The eight sites emphasized in the recent research involve cliffs whose erosion unveiled layers of rock and ice that MRO could from above.
The bands of ice initially appear three to six feet underground. This backs up the idea that Mars’s mid-latitudes experienced snowfalls millions of years ago.
This revolutionary discovery definitely has an impact on future astronauts’ resolution to land on Mars.
The discovery of this ice water reserves opens up various opportunities for future research. It could also be a valuable resource for possible future man missions to the Red Planet.
Human missions to the Red Planet will presumably rely on obtaining water from the local environment. This will either happen with baking it or mining it from the ice coats.
After this, they will likely decompose it into hydrogen and oxygen. Thus, they could be able to breathe air and obtain methane for the craft’s fuel.
“It’s looking more encouraging that water ice could be available at depths shallow enough that could be used as resources for human missions to Mars,” says Angel Abbud-Madrid, the director of the Center for Space Resources at the Colorado School of Mines.
Researchers believe the water ice is relatively pure and more widespread than what we can actually see.