It Must Be Ice

Phoenix has found ice on Mars:

June 19, 2008 — Dice-size crumbs of bright material have vanished from inside a trench where they were photographed by NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander four days ago, convincing scientists that the material was frozen water that vaporized after digging exposed it.

“It must be ice,” said Phoenix Principal Investigator Peter Smith of the University of Arizona, Tucson. “These little clumps completely disappearing over the course of a few days, that is perfect evidence that it’s ice. There had been some question whether the bright material was salt. Salt can’t do that.”

You can see an image here. Awesome.

This is pretty historic. The US has hopes of putting a man on Mars sometime in the 2030 time frame (well after a return to the moon). Water on Mars will likely have an impact on how that mission is designed, and possibly it’s success.

Mars has ice caps, that’s been known for a long time. Subterranean ice was suspected, and now confirmed.

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