National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is planning to launch a big mission to send humans on Mars and the stepping stone for it is going to be the Moon mission scheduled for 2024. The main objective for NASA is to find water on Mars that will help in both drinking and recreation of rocket fuel. NASA has recently released a research paper that highlights the treasure map for ice deposits on Mars.
A region on the red planet has shallow ice deposits buried a few centimetres below the surface. Liquid water can't last on Mars as it evaporates when exposed to the atmosphere so Martian water is locked underground. Water ice is going to play a major role in finding a potential landing site for the astronauts. The study's authors relied on two heat-sensitive instruments. NASA used MRO's Mars Climate Sounder and the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) camera on Mars Odyssey to locate water ice on Mars. Heat sensitive instruments were used because the surface above water ice is relatively cooler than the other parts of the planet.
According to NASA's official website, "there is no need to backhoe and dig up this ice. You could use a shovel," said the paper's lead author, Sylvain Piqueux of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. "We're continuing to collect data on buried ice on Mars, zeroing in on the best places for astronauts to land," he added.
According to reports, a large portion of a region called Arcadia Planitia in the northern hemisphere is one of the major targets for NASA to land on Mars. NASA is also planning to build the first Martian Research Station on the red planet and the satellites orbiting the planet will help determine the best places.