A new map of Mars water ice can help identify the best landing spots

Scientists have created a new map that aims to identify the best water sources on Mars.

Water is considered an essential resource to support future exploration activity on Mars. Scientists believe that there is a lot of water in the Red Planet. But finding from the Earth for the best sources is not easy.

The American space agency NASA has been working for years to identify the best spots for such water. Most of the water on Mars exists as ice due to very cold temperatures.

A new study describes and provides detailed mapping for the most likely areas of water ice. The recent study appeared in Astronomy of nature. It is part of a project called Subsurface Water Ice Mapping, or SWIM.

This image, showing two views of the northern hemisphere of Mars, is the result of a study conducted by researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Planning Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona. On the left, the light gray shade shows the

NASA says the SWIM project combines 20 years of data collected by several of the group’s Mars researchers. Researchers at the Planning Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona, are leading the research, supported by NASA’s Jet Dedication Laboratory in California.

Gareth Morgan is a scientist at the Planning Science Institute and helped lead the research. He said in a statement, “The aim of SWIM is to provide maps comas buried ice investments to support the selection of landing sites. ”

He said Mars ice is an essential resource that can be used for many things, including providing people with drinking water, growing plants for food, and making methane fuel and breathable air. “But the most important thing is to provide fuel for the journey back home to Earth,” Morgan said.

Researchers have already experimented with ways ice water could be used on Mars to make fuel, in addition to oxygen.

This photo shows Jezero Crater - the landing site of the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover - as it may have watched billions of years go by on Mars, when it was a lake.  There is also a strait and an exit on either side of the loch.  (Image credit: NASA / JPL

This photo shows Jezero Crater – the landing site of the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover – as it may have watched billions of years go by on Mars, when it was a lake. There is also a strait and an exit on either side of the loch. (Image credit: NASA / JPL

Richard Davis will lead NASA ‘s efforts to find resources on Mars in preparation for sending humans to the Red Planet. He said the identification of water sources on Mars could also help in finding life, which would likely be found near the water. “The next thing end because Mars wants human researchers to get under the surface and look for signs of microbial life, ”said Davis.

NASA says most scientists and engineers believe the most accessible ones subscription there is ice below polar areas of Mars in the northern hemisphere. The new map was based on these areas – south of the polar region but north of the equator – as they have more favorable conditions for humans. It would be easier to get on a spaceship there.

The map identifies two distinct areas on Mars where underground ice is likely to be found. The first is among fields in an area called Arcadia Planitia. Scientists believe the area was formed by an ancient volcanic eruption. In the other is glacierlowland infill in an area called Deuteronilus Mensae.

Geological formations can be found in sedimentary rock in the Hellas Basin on Mars.  Researchers say these open channels are recorded evidence of long-lived rivers that were active on the Martian surface more than 3.7 billion years ago.  (Image / Credit HiRISE: NASA / JPL-C

Geological formations can be found in sedimentary rock in the Hellas Basin on Mars. Researchers say these open channels are recorded evidence of long-lived rivers that were active on the Martian surface more than 3.7 billion years ago. (Image / Credit HiRISE: NASA / JPL-C

The study identified the fields using five different methods that analyzed databases from past Mars researchers. They included NASA’s Mars Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Mars Global Surveyor.

The process was not designed to measure water ice directly, Gareth Morgan explained. Instead, he wanted to predict the probability of ice supply based on observed conditions. He said things like high hydrogen levels and high wavelengths can suggest the presence of ice. Scientists can also look at the rate at which temperature changes on a surface.

NASA says it plans to use the new research to prepare for talks with key experts to investigate possible human landings on Mars.

FILE: Shapes made of water and sediment can be seen in the Jezero Crater on Mars, a potential landing site for the Mars 2020 Rover, in this deceptive color image taken by NASA, published May 15, 2019 and received November 15, 2019. NASA / JPL-Caltech / Handheld

FILE: Shapes made of water and sediment can be seen in the Jezero Crater on Mars, a potential landing site for the Mars 2020 Rover, in this deceptive color image taken by NASA, published May 15, 2019 and received November 15, 2019. NASA / JPL-Caltech / Handheld

NASA recently announced that it has signed an agreement with international partners to develop robotic mapping of Mars in the future. mission to find ice-water. The partnership includes Italian, Canadian and Japanese space agencies.

Further mapping efforts in the 2020s could “help with human missions to Mars as early as the 2030s,” NASA said. For now, NASA officials plan to continue searching for the best place on Mars to send astronauts so that they have enough local ice-water resources to support their work.

My name is Bryan Lynn.

Bryan Lynn wrote this story for English Learning, based on reports from NASA, Nature Astronomy and the Planetary Science Institute. The editor was Ashley Thompson.

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Words in this story

comas adj. able

investmentn. coating of material developed from a natural or chemical process

end n. the limits of what is known or previously done in a field of knowledge or activity

subscription n. the area below the Earth’s surface

polaradj. applies to the north or south pole regions

plainn. large area of ​​flat land

glaciern. a large area of ​​ice that moves slowly down a slope or valley or over a wide area of ​​land

missionn. fly a spaceship to perform a specific task or task

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