Space

Around the Martian Equator, There Is Evidence of Significant Hydration

By Aazam

The researchers discovered unusually high concentrations of hydrogen which at high latitudes is a hint of subsurface water ice around portions of the Martian equator by sharpening the focus on the lower-resolution compositional data.

By using Martian natural resources as a source of water and as a starting point for creating hydrogen fuel, the amount of transported mass required for human exploration might be significantly decreased.

The resolution of maps of hydrogen abundance was improved by reanalyzing data from a hydrogen-finding sensor on NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft from 2002 to 2009.

Although the neutron spectrometer can't directly detect water, it can assist researchers determine the amount of hydrogen and so infer the presence of water or other hydrogen-bearing materials.

Odyssey's initial data showed excess hydrogen at lower latitudes, which other spacecraft and instruments have later identified as hydrated minerals.

Both NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's Shallow Radar and the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter's Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionospheric Sounding showed no subsurface water ice near the equator

A dust cover and "duricrust" that traps humidity below the surface may limit ice loss across axial tilt cycles, but this is doubtful.

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