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Ice Discovered Right Below Mars Surface

Credit: ESA

There’s a whole lot of white beneath the red planet.

The first and foremost thing that human life needs is water. This is why space agencies have been probing planets for signs of the wet stuff for years, with Mars being a favored target. If there is a clean, plentiful source of water on a planet, humanity could, at least in theory, set up shop there. Based on new findings from NASA, Mars may have just what we’ve been looking for, and it’s been right under our noses the whole time.

NASA created a digital map of Mars’s surface that outlines locations of water ice. The thing about Mars is that, since its atmosphere is so thin, surface water evaporates very quickly. However, beneath the planet’s soil, numerous “ponds” of ice can be found. Some of them aren’t even particularly deep; you could get at them with a good shovel and some gumption.

Credit: NASA

While it’s been common knowledge that water is on Mars for a while, it’s never been seen in such clarity, nor has it been known how plentiful it is. With this map as a guideline, NASA could pinpoint an ideal location for a manned mission to Mars where the water is plentiful and easy to access. It has also been theorized that Mars’s polar ice caps could contain actual liquid water, which makes them another tempting candidate.