Date: Monday, 28-Nov-2016 01:03:24
The ice is 1 to 10 meters below the surface, over an area the size of New Mexico, several hundred feet thick, according to data from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter:
LAKE OF frozen WATER THE SIZE OF NEW MEXICO FOUND ON MARS – NASA
Boffins spot wealth of H2-oh-yeah just waiting to be tapped
22 Nov 2016 = Iain Thomson
Settling on Mars may not be as difficult as first feared. NASA scientists have discovered a huge deposit of water ice just under the surface of the Red Planet.
The ice has been found in the Utopia Planitia region of the planet, a large depression in the northern hemisphere formed by a massive impact early in the planet's history. The ice patch, which is about the size of New Mexico, contains enough water to fill Lake Superior, according to measurements taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).
"This deposit is probably more accessible than most water ice on Mars, because it is at a relatively low latitude and it lies in a flat, smooth area where landing a spacecraft would be easier than at some of the other areas with buried ice," Jack Holt of the University of Texas, coauthor of the Utopia paper published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, said today.
The MRO carries the Shallow Radar (SHARAD) instrument, designed for just this kind of a job, and after 600 passes over the site it has found ice between 260 feet (80 metres) and 560 feet (170 metres) thick. It's not pure ice, but about 50 to 85 per cent water, mixed with dust or larger rocky particles.
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