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posted by mrpg on Friday January 12, @01:10AM   Printer-friendly
from the cold-as-ice dept.

Buried glaciers have been spotted on Mars, offering new hints about how much water may be accessible on the Red Planet and where it is located, researchers said Thursday.

Although ice has long been known to exist on Mars, a better understanding of its depth and location could be vital to future human explorers, said the report in the US journal Science.

[...] Scientists have not determined how these particular scarps initially form. However, once the buried ice becomes exposed to Mars' atmosphere, a scarp likely grows wider and taller as it "retreats," due to sublimation of the ice directly from solid form into water vapor. At some of them, the exposed deposit of water ice is more than 100 yards, or meter[sic], thick. Examination of some of the scarps with MRO's Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) confirmed that the bright material is frozen water. A check of the surface temperature using Odyssey's Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) camera helped researchers determine they're not seeing just thin frost covering the ground.


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  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 12, @03:11AM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 12, @03:11AM (#621239)

    How are people supposed to live on the ISS? Oh wait they did.

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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 12, @03:40AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 12, @03:40AM (#621243)

    Long-term low-gravity habitation is increasingly looking to be very hazardous to one's health.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by tftp on Friday January 12, @04:04AM (1 child)

      by tftp (806) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 12, @04:04AM (#621251) Homepage

      Medical problems is nothing compared to psychological ones. It's very hard to maintain psychological health of tens of people. Many will be disenchanted, depressed, suicidal. Who will guard the airlock and other essential systems? For some it's hard to keep sanity even on Earth, where one can take many avenues. On Mars it's the gray wall in front of you, until you die[*]. If you expect the crew to be evaluated before the flight, it will be certainly done - but will their minds survive the hardships?

      [*] Mars Direct assumes 1.5 years per shift.

      • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Friday January 12, @01:48PM

        by RamiK (1813) on Friday January 12, @01:48PM (#621361)

        Nomadic life is nothing unusual to the human condition. Worse case scenario NASA will just have to follow the Inuit example and send crews off with their families.

        --
        compiling...
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 12, @02:07PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 12, @02:07PM (#621371)

      It's not "increasingly" looking like anything, because we aren't collecting increasing amounts of data on life in low gravity. It's two thousand fucking eighteen and we still don't have a centrifugal space station, a moon base, or any other way to collect data on anything but 0g and 1g. We have no fucking idea whether (say) 0.5g is as good as 1g, as bad as 0g, or exactly halfway in between, and I guess we're just okay with that.