The Mars Reconnaissance orbiter has not made major headlines recently. But today the mars orbiter team announced that they have made a major discovery on the red planet …………….a banana ! Just kidding. They announced that they had discovered thin ice on mars. “What’s new and exciting here is that these ice sheets start quite shallowly,” says planetary scientist Colin Dundas of the U.S. Geological Survey in Flagstaff, Ariz. That could be good news for future astronauts hoping to use that water to drink, or to create oxygen to breathe or make fuel for returning spacecraft. Dundas and his team used high definition images from mars reconnaissance orbiter to analyse eight areas where steep slopes called scarps seem to reveal ice.
Martian ice has a thin skin. The newly discovered exposure of ice on steep banks suggests that the Red Planet’s ice sheets are buried by just a meter or two of soil, researchers report in Science January 12.
The scarps themselves are so steep that it would probably be dangerous for humans or rovers to land there. “It’s not necessarily that these specific sites are where you would go,” Dundas says, but they’re useful for learning more about where ice may be found.
This year the Mars Insight mission will be armed with a scanner that can detect ice water. If you want to know more about this and more missions of 2018 check out our article of the space missions of 2018 by clicking here.