mission results NASA’s Mars InSight they continue to release news about Mars and the new focus points to the form of water on the red planet.
According to researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, much of the water on Mars was converted into minerals that form the underground cement.
Also, in the upper 300 meters of subsurface at the Martian equator there is little or no ice.
NASA’s InSight spacecraft landed in 2018 on Elysium Planitia, a flat, smooth plain near the Martian equator. Since then, it has offered information about the area, regarding seismic waves and the geological state of the place.
“As scientists, we now face the best data, the best observations,” he explains. Michael Manga, study co-author, in the statement issued by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego. “And our models predicted that there should still be frozen ground at that latitude with aquifers underneath.”
The shapes of water on Mars, according to NASA InSight data
Vashan Wright of Scripps noted: “We found that the crust of Mars is weak and porous. The sediments are not well cemented. And there is no ice or not much ice filling the pore spaces.”
“These findings do not exclude that there may be ice grains or small balls that are not binding other minerals. The question is how likely it is that the ice is present in that form,” added Wright.
The lack of cemented sediments suggests a shortage of the liquid, at least in the 300 meters below InSight’s landing site near the equator. According to the researchers, the average below-freezing temperature at Mars’ equator indicates that conditions would be cold enough to freeze water if it were there.
Therefore, it seems impossible, or at least very unlikely, that the Martian subsurface is full of ice.
In the future, the international robotic mission Mars Ice Mapper it would help NASA identify possible scientific targets for the first human missions to the Red Planet.