Water Ice found on Mars
Channel 4 News is reporting that NASA has announced definitive evidence of water on Mars. For years now, images from Martian orbiters have suggested the Martian landscape was sculpted by running surface water. Last month we saw a white substance exposed by the Phoenix lander’s robotic digger, only to evaporate away as the days went by. Now, samples collected by the scoop have been analysed in the space probe’s ovens. The chemical signature is apparently clear.
False colour image of Echus Chasma courtesy of ESA
This is great news for the future. One of the main obstacles to a human Mars mission can now be overcome, as the people landing on the red planet won’t have to take water with them to live there. It’s waiting for them to make use of. The other major obstacle is how to get back. Perhaps a question that should be asked is do they need to? Throughout history, there have always been people prepared to leave home, crossing oceans, knowing they would never return. I expect there would be plenty of volunteers prepared to settle a new world, even if for now it’s a one-way journey.
That’s probably the subject of a longer, more thought out blog entry. For now, we may not be sure there’s life on Mars, but at least we know there’s ice on Mars and that should be the subject of great rejoicing.