Posted by BC on August 9th, 2008
“We have water,” were the words of William Boynton of the University of Arizona when he announced findings from laboratory tests conducted my NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander. The water was originally in the form of water-ice, which has been detected previously, but has never before been examined in the different phases from the same sample.
A robotic arm on Phoenix was used to dig a trench deep enough to expose frozen soil. The soil contained the water-ice. Because of the water-ice discovery and the condition of Phoenix, the mission has been extended from the ending date in late August to some point in September.
New information about the soil, ice, atmosphere, and terrain is continuously being revealed by Phoenix and the laboratory equipment. New questions have arisen with each discovery. Questions such as “Why is the ice so sticky?” and “Can the water-ice be used (past, present or future) to support life as we know it?” are some that have been expressed.
What do you think about exploration/exploitation of Mars to support life as we, here on Earth, know it?
More information about Mars water-ice and related topics.