NASA Finds Shallow Deposits of Water Ice on Mars That Astronauts Could Reach With a Shovel

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NASA has found a possible region where astronauts could land on Mars
Mars has abundance of water ice just below the surface
Arcadia Planitia region may be a good spot for landing

NASA is close to finding possible landing locations for its astronauts when they reach Mars in the coming decades. The agency earlier this week cited a new research paper published in American Geophysical Union journal Geophysical Research Letters that will help it in mapping the water ice locations on the red planet. At many places on Mars, water ice deposits have been found to be as little as one inch below the surface.

“You wouldn’t need a backhoe to dig up this ice. You could use a shovel,” said the paper’s lead author, Sylvain Piqueux of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “We’re continuing to collect data on buried ice on Mars, zeroing in on the best places for astronauts to land.”

The research paper indicates there is lots of water ice throughout the Martian poles and mid-latitudes. More interestingly, there are several shallow deposits of water ice that NASA wants to focus on.

Underground deposits
Because of little air pressure in Martian atmosphere, water can’t last on the surface. It evaporates from solid to gas very quickly. Hence, all of water ice deposits of the planet are hidden underground, the only place they can survive.