NASA has been hard at work in recent months as the agency aims to return to the moon while also targeting Mars in the long run. One of the tasks involves the need to plan were to land on Mars. An ideal spot would be in a zone with easy access to ice water.
The space agency has released a series of images that can be compared with a real map of ice water on Mars. A region known as Arcadia Planitia is highlighted as NASA researchers argue that the area could be filled with shallow ice deposits. This would be an excellent boon for astronauts since they can harvest it to process drinking water and rocket fuel.
According to one of the members of the team of researchers, the deposits are so close to the surface that they can be reached with a shovel. The team harnessed data collected by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Mars Odyssey spacecraft to develop the map.
NASA Revealed That Mars Has Ice Water Deposits Just Below Its Surface
Water is a valuable resource, but it is quite heavy and difficult to transport, especially when great distances are involved. Mining the resource on-site would be more efficient and more affordable.
The Arcadia region has attracted the interest of other entities as SpaceX is also evaluating the area as a possible landing site for one of the future starship missions. The company has significant plans related to Mars as the development of the Starship proceeds at an accelerated pace.
It is worth noting that the moon is the current primary objective of NASA as the space agency has elaborated on a series of ambitious mission schedules. It is estimated that an uncrewed test launch could take place in 2021. A crewed mission towards the natural satellite will be launched in 2024. The establishment of a lunar base would be a significant step forward for humanity, but only time will tell if the mission will be successful.