A cross-section of underground ice is exposed at the steep slope that appears bright blue in this enhanced-color view from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The scene is about 550 yards wide. The scarp drops about 140 yards from the level ground in the upper quarter of the image. NASA/JPL-Caltech/UA/USGS
My kids and wife stay properly hydrated. They always have a bottle at the ready. I take my water in fits and starts when I think of it and would never pass a hydration test. Water is crucial to life. If we ever build a colony on Mars, we’ll need ready access to to Martian ice that can be melted and purified into drinking water. Now, researchers using NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) have found eight sites where thick deposits of ice beneath Mars’ surface are exposed in faces of eroding slopes and easily accessible.
“Astronauts could essentially just go there with a bucket and a shovel and get all the water they need,” said Shane Byrne (University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory).
These eight scarps, with slopes as steep as 55 degrees, reveal new information about the internal layered structure of previously detected underground ice sheets in Mars’ middle ...