Justin Case writes:
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.
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.
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.