There is water on Mars and it's easily accessible

There is water on Mars and it's easily accessible

But the size and location of the frozen water has been uncertain, and no robotic probes have yet been able to find or extract any samples from the surface of our planetary neighbor.

The discovery was made using NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), and involves "eight sites where thick deposits of ice beneath Mars' surface are exposed in faces of eroding slopes", according to a NASA news release.

Mars ice cliffs could be key to supporting life on Red Planet Mars has ice sheets more than 100 meters deep hiding beneath its red dust, offering a potential water source for future explorers of the Red Planet, according to new research.

Scientists have found what they say are huge ice sheets stretching across Mars, a development that could be a "game-changer" in our mission to live there. "Something caused [the ice] to be deposited and then deposited again", and that thing is most likely to be snowfall.

The latitudes were the equivalent on Earth of Scotland or the tip of South America. "Previous ideas for extracting human-usable water from Marswere to pull it from the very dry atmosphere or to break down water-containing rocks", said planetary scientist Shane Byrne of the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, a co-author of the study in the journal Science.

The results revealed massive subsurface ice sheets on the planet extending from just below the surface to a depth of at least 100 meters (328ft).

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'You can go out with a bucket and shovel and just collect as much water as you need. "It's also much closer to places humans would probably land as opposed to the polar caps, which are very inhospitable".

However, once the buried ice becomes exposed to Mars" atmosphere, a scarp likely grows wider and taller as it "retreats, ' due to sublimation of the ice directly from solid form into water vapor.

'This kind of ice is more widespread than previously thought, ' said Colin Dundas, a geologist at the US Geological Survey in Flagstaff, Arizona.

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 latitudes, the USA space agency said.

'What we've seen here are cross-sections through the ice that give us a 3-D view with more detail than ever before'.

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