By Georgina Torbet
To explore the solar system beyond our planet, one important factor is the ability to locate water which can be used for drinking and for creating rocket fuel. To assist in the hunt for water on neighboring Mars, NASA has released a “treasure map” of potential ice locations on the red planet.
Researchers created the map of the Martian surface which shows where water ice (so-called because other chemical compounds can freeze) is believed to be located. In some places, the ice is as little as 2.5 centimeters below the surface, making it easily accessible to future visitors. Cool colors represent ice closer to the surface, while warm colors are ice deeper down.
“You wouldn’t need a backhoe to dig up this ice. You could use a shovel,” the paper’s lead author, Sylvain Piqueux of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a blog post. “We’re continuing to collect data on buried ice on Mars, zeroing in on the best places for astronauts to land.”
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