The US space agency NASA has released a treasure map claiming water ice on Mars. The map highlights a specific region where scientists believe the Red Planet has shallow ice deposits. The area is known as Arcadia Planitia. Researchers say the water here could be used for drinking purposes. The new study added it could also be used for the creation of rocket fuel. The map was released in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. NASA in a statement said Arcadia Planitia is the ideal region on Mars to send astronauts to dig up water ice. It further said a backhoe wouldn’t be required there to dig up the ice. It could be dug up using a shovel.
The latest revelation by researchers is based on the observations made by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Mars Odyssey spacecraft. The study said ice is a better conductor of heat in the Martian surface than other materials. It affects the surface temperatures and therefore researchers were able to map the amount of ice. They said ice is about an inch below the sand‐like surface. The location will also help in determining the potential landing site on the Red Planet. Besides, it will contribute to the success of NASA’s human missions to Mars. The ice may instantaneously be evaporated because of the low air pressure there.
NASA has announced that it will send a new rover to Mars next year. The Mars 2020 rover is planned to lift off from Earth in July next year. It will touch down in Jezero crater in February 2021. The Jezero crater is believed to be flooded with water once. The Curiosity like rover will cut rock cores and place them along with soil in sample tubes for further study. The agency said it will look for ancient life on the Red Planet and life essentials. The space agency is aiming to send astronauts to the planet in 2024. Mars is the fourth planet from Sun and next to Earth. It is the second-smallest planet after Mercury.