General, Research, Technology

How much water is there on Mars and is there enough for future colonists?

For many centuries, man dreamedto conquer the Red Planet, and it seems that in the very near future we will finally be able to take our first step in becoming an interplanetary view. In order to be able to successfully land on Mars, NASA experts plan to first identify the most suitable place for the landing of future colonists. The main criterion in tough selection will be the presence of water ice, without which the existence of a person in the distant cold desert of a reddish hue would become completely impossible. So where should the first people land on the Red Planet and how much water on Mars?

Mars and its most suitable zone for the construction of the first human colony outside the Earth

Is there a lot of water on Mars?

According to an article published on phys.org, huge reserves of water ice on Mars can be located only at a depth of 2.5 centimeters from the surface. Its presence will be a key factor in choosing a potential landing site, because such important water resources of the planet will be one of the basic needs for replenishing the colony's drinking water reserves and making rocket fuel.

To find affordable water ice onMars, NASA uses data from two spacecraft at once - NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) and Mars Odyssey Orbiter. According to the latest data received from the probes, future colonists will not even require the use of excavators and other heavy equipment to extract a vital resource, which can significantly reduce the cost of the course of the future mission.

Map of water ice on Mars

Blue shades show closest tosurface water sources, red - the most distant. Black spots are sandy deserts, and a white area can be an ideal candidate for the landing of the first astronauts

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Due to the fact that liquid water cannot last longto exist in the rarefied atmosphere of Mars, almost instantly evaporating into outer space, scientists have yet to develop a technology that can allow water production without loss. The exact location of the ice can be detected using two heat-sensitive instruments - the Martian climate probe MRO and the camera thermal imaging imaging system (THEMIS), designed specifically for Mars Odyssey.

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Although there are a large number on Marsplaces of interest to scientists, only a few of them are able to provide suitable landing sites for astronauts. So, despite the fact that the middle and southern latitudes of Mars receive more sunlight than its more northern regions, planetologists believe that the most preferred place for landing on Mars will be the Arcadia Planitia region, where water ice reserves are located only 30 centimeters lower surface of the planet.

Researchers believe that nowthe total water resources of the Red Planet are approximately 65 million cubic kilometers, which could well be enough to cover the surface of Mars with a layer of water 35 meters thick. Well, perhaps, future Martian colonists are unlikely to have to worry about the fact that the water on the Red Planet will someday end.