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Scientists spot massive ice deposits on Mars

Recent observations by MRO's ground-penetrating Shallow Radar instrument revealed a buried ice layer that covers more ground than the state of New Mexico.

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Scientists found layers of ice on the surface of Mars. Wikimedia Commons
  • Recently, scientists have found layers of ice on the Martian land.
  • Scientists think this ice might be a useful source of water for future humans.
  • The researchers had researched 8 locations on the surface of Mars.

Scientists have unearthed thick and massive deposits of ice in some regions on Mars.

The images taken by the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) showed the three-dimensional structure of massive ice deposits on Mars.

The ice sheets extend from just below the surface to a depth of 100 meters or more and appear to contain distinct layers.

It extending downward from depths as shallow as 1 to 2 meters below the surface, which could preserve a record of Mars’ past climate, the researchers noted in the journal Science.

This ice which was found can help scientists understand the climate history of Mars. IANS
This ice which was found can help scientists understand the climate history of Mars. IANS

“We expect the vertical structure of Martian ice-rich deposits to preserve a record of ice deposition and past climate,” said Colin M. Dundas, from the US Geological Survey.

“They might even be a useful source of water for future human exploration of the red planet,” Dundas added.

The researchers investigated eight locations on Mars and found thick deposits cover broad regions of the Martian mid-latitudes with a smooth mantle.

However, erosion in these regions creates scarps that expose the internal structure of the mantle.

The scarps are actively retreating because of sublimation of the exposed water ice.

The layers of ice can be used as water source by future humans on Mars, VOA
The layers of ice can be used as water source by future humans on Mars, VOA

The ice deposits likely originated as snowfall during Mars’ high-obliquity periods and have now compacted into massive, fractured, and layered ice.

Previous researchers have revealed that the Red Planet harbours subsurface water ice.

Recent observations by MRO’s ground-penetrating Shallow Radar instrument revealed a buried ice layer that covers more ground than the state of New Mexico.

NASA’s Phoenix lander had also dug up some ice near the Martian north pole in 2008, however, it is not clear if that is part of the big sheet. IANS

Next Story

NASA Planning to Use Blockchain Technology For Air Traffic Management

The prototype demonstrates how this method can be economically and rapidly deployed in a scalable modular environment, Reisman said

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Kepler, NASA, tissue
NASA to use Blockchain technology for air traffic management. Pixabay

US space agency NASA is planning to advance its technology by adding Blockchain to secure air traffic services and support, the media reported.

The agency will work with an open source Blockchain platform called “Hyperledger Fabric” that is specifically designed for enterprise transactions that resemble typical air traffic management interactions, Ronald J. Reisman, an aero-computer engineer at the NASA Ames Research Centre, said in a statement.

Blockchain would address the potential issues of privacy, prevent spoofing, denial of service and other attacks, Reisman said.

He asserted that Blockchain presents an engineering prototype that embodies a design and method that may be applied to mitigate security issues.

NASA, Hubble, Keplar, asteroids
Blockchain would address the potential issues of privacy, prevent spoofing, denial of service and other attacks, Reisman said. Flickr

“The design innovation is the use of an open source permissioned Blockchain framework to enable aircraft privacy and anonymity while providing a secure and efficient method for communication with air traffic services, operations support, or other authorised entities,” he noted.

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The new framework also features certificate authority, smart contract support, and higher-bandwidth communication channels for private information that may be used for secure communication between any specific aircraft and any particular authorised member.

The prototype demonstrates how this method can be economically and rapidly deployed in a scalable modular environment, Reisman said. (IANS)