First water map of Mars REVEALED: Incredible chart shows the location of ancient aqueous deposits on the Red Planet – and could help NASA choose where to land in the future

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  • Scientists have created the first map of ancient water on Mars
  • Based on data from Mars Express Observatory and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
  • It reveals ancient water deposits in hundreds of thousands of regions on Mars
  • Findings could help NASA choose where to land in the near future

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While the idea of ​​sending humans to Mars was once confined to science fiction, NASA hopes it could become a reality by the end of the 2030s.

But one of the major questions we need to address before departing for the Red Planet is where to land.

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Now, scientists from the European Space Agency (ESA) have created the first water map of Mars based on data from Mars Express Observatory and NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

The team hopes the map will change the way we think about Mars’ watery past and help with decisions about where to land on the Red Planet in the future.

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Scientists from the European Space Agency (ESA) have created the first water map of Mars based on data from Mars Express Observatory and NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Mars: The Basics

Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun, with a ‘near-dead’ dusty, cold, desert world with a very thin atmosphere.

Mars is also a dynamic planet with weather, polar ice caps, canyons, extinct volcanoes and evidence that it was even more active in the past.

It is one of the most explored planets in the Solar System and the only planet humans have sent a rover to explore.

A day on Mars takes a little over 24 hours and a year is 687 Earth days.

Facts & Figures

orbital period: 687 days

surface area: 144.8 million km²

distance from the sun: 227.9 million km

gravity: 3.721 m/s

RADIUS: 3,389.5 km

moon: Phobos, Deimoso

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Map showing the location and abundance of aqueous minerals on Mars.

These minerals are from rocks that have been chemically altered by water in the past and usually turned into clay and salt.

While you might think these aquatic minerals would be few and far between, the big surprise is their prevalence on Mars, with maps revealing hundreds of thousands of such regions.

“This work has now established that when you’re studying ancient terrain in detail, it’s really odd not to see these minerals,” said Dr. John Carter from the Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale.

The big question now is whether this watering was persistent, or confined to shorter, more intense episodes.

ESA hopes that the map will serve as a better tool for answering this question.

Dr Carter said, ‘I think we have collectively observed Mars.

Scientists have previously tended to think that only certain types of clay minerals were formed during the wet period on Mars.

Then, as the water slowly dried up, salts began to form throughout the planet.

However, the new map shows that the process was much more complicated than that.

While many salts probably formed later than clay, the map shows that there are some exceptions.

Data from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) instrument showed that Jezero Crater displays a rich diversity of hydrated minerals.

Data from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) instrument showed that Jezero Crater displays a rich diversity of hydrated minerals.

ESA's Mars Express Observatory for Mineralogy, Water, Ice and Activity (OMEGA) instrument is better suited for high spectral resolution mapping and provides global coverage of Mars.

ESA’s Mars Express Observatory for Mineralogy, Water, Ice and Activity (OMEGA) instrument is better suited for high spectral resolution mapping and provides global coverage of Mars.

Lunar soil could be used to convert CO2 into rocket fuel to power missions to Mars

A new study has found that lunar soil could potentially be converted into rocket fuel to power future missions to Mars.

An analysis of dirt grains brought back by China’s Chang’e 5 spacecraft found that the regolith on the Moon contains compounds that convert carbon dioxide into oxygen.

The soil is rich in iron and titanium, which act as catalysts under sunlight and can convert carbon dioxide and water released by astronauts’ bodies into other useful by-products such as oxygen, hydrogen and methane. May the moon base get power.

As liquid oxygen and hydrogen make up rocket fuel, it also opens the door to a cost-cutting interplanetary gas station on the Moon for trips to the Red Planet and beyond.

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Carter explained, ‘The evolution from a lot of water to no water is not as clear as we thought, the water didn’t stop overnight.’

‘We see a huge variety of geological contexts, so that no single process, or simple timeline, can explain the evolution of Mars’ mineralogy.

‘This is the first result of our study. The second is that if you exclude life processes on Earth, Mars exhibits the same diversity of mineralogy in geologic settings as Earth does.’

ESA used data from various instruments to create the map.

For example, data from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) instrument showed that Jezero Crater displays a rich diversity of hydrated minerals.

Meanwhile, ESA’s Mars Express Observatory for Mineralogy, Water, Ice and Activity (OMEGA) instrument is better suited for high spectral resolution mapping and provides global coverage of Mars.

Researchers hope the map will prove useful to NASA as it chooses to land on Mars in the future.

The news comes ahead of NASA’s Artemis I mission, which is scheduled to launch on August 29, paving the way for future missions to the Moon and Mars.

“Artemis I will be an unmanned flight test that will provide a foundation for human deep space exploration, and demonstrate our commitment and capability to advance human existence to the Moon and beyond,” NASA explained.

If the Artemis mission is successful, NASA aims to launch astronauts to Mars in the late 2030s or early 2040s.

NASA plans to send a manned mission to Mars in the 2030s after the first landing on the Moon

Mars has become the next giant leap for mankind’s exploration in space.

But before humans reach the Red Planet, astronauts for one will take small steps by returning to the Moon.

Credit: www.dailymail.co.uk /

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