NASA, while working on its plan to get back onto the Moon, is also eyeing on reaching Mars. In a recent paper published in Geophysical Research Letters has revealed that there are water ice deposits very near to the surface on Mars. These water ice deposits are at such shallow locations that can be shoveled out.
NASA released a picture of “a treasure map for water ice on Mars“. This picture indicates a region known as “Arcadia Planitia“ where the planet appears to be holding deposits of ice. These shallow deposits could help in supplying the water needed for astronauts and rocket fuel.
“You don’t need a rear backhoe to dig this water, you just need a shovel,” said NASA’s Sylvain Piqueux lead author of the paper on water ice. The researchers obtained this data from observations made by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Mars Odyssey spacecraft to fabricate the map.
Water is bulk, and to transport for such greater distances it involves high costs. It would be good if we could dig water there on the red planet itself. NASA calls this “in-situ resource utilization” and would play a major role in selecting the sites for landing.
With NASA, SpaceX has also identified the region of Arcadia Planitia, in the northern hemisphere as a possible landing site in the future for astronauts.The marked area of Mars holds near-surface water ice