NASA finds traces of water on Mars

NASA i.e National Aeronautics and Space Administration is planning on sending Man on Mars in the near future. But in order to survive on Mars, the basic need in order to survive is water. NASA is working in order to find water on Mars so that the astronauts can survive when they reach Mars.  Earlier this week NASA takes a step ahead in its Mars mission. NASA finds traces of water on Mars around one inch below the surface in several locations. This means that the agency is moving in the right direction.

In the American Geophysical Union journal Geophysical Research Letters, NASA Quoted a research paper. In that paper, NASA said that it will help them accomplish the Mars mission. NASA believes that this paper will assist their astronauts to find water ice locations when they reach the red planet i.e. Mars. This research hints that there is water ice all across the Martian poles and mid-latitudes on Mars.

Mars Water Map that will assist astronauts

NASA finds traces of water on Mars. NASA has created and released a map of the Martian surface which shows water ice locations on the red planet. In some of the places on Mars, the ice is as little as 2.5 cm below the surface. The cool color represents ice closer to the surface while the warm color represents ice deeper in the surface.

NASA finds traces of water on Mars

The air pressure on Mars is very less. Thus, the water can’t last for very long on the surface and evaporates from solid to gas in the blink of an eye. Therefore the water ice deposits on Mars are located below the surface and not above. The underground surface is the only place where water ice can survive. Sylvain Piqueux, in a blog post, said “You wouldn’t need a backhoe to dig up the water ice deposits. You could use a shovel to dig up the ice.

NASA finds traces of water on Mars
These dark, narrow, 100 meter-long streaks called recurring slope lineae flowing downhill on Mars are inferred to have been formed by contemporary flowing water.

Researchers used an imaging spectrometer on MRO. It detected signatures of hydrated minerals on the slopes where the mysterious streaks are seen on Mars. These darkish streaks darken and appear to flow down steep slopes during warm seasons, and then fade in cooler seasons. All these darkish streaks appear in several locations on Mars surface when temperatures are above minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 23 Celsius), and disappear at colder times.

John Grunsfeld and Lujendra Ojha Quotes

John Grunsfeld, the astronaut, said “the quest of Mars has been to follow the water. Now we also have the convincing science technology that validates what we’ve long suspected”.

Lujendra Ojha of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in Atlanta is the lead author of a report on these findings published Sept. 28 by Nature Geoscience. Ojha and his research team found the hydrated salts when the seasonal features were widest. This suggested that either the dark streaks or a process that forms them are the source of the hydration on Mars. In either case, that water plays a vital role in the formation of these streaks”.

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