Mars Express took pictures of icy soda on Mars

18.03.2004

18.03.2004


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European Mars Express space station managed to do what the Americans can only dream of: the earth transmitted photos of huge amounts of ice on the surface of the planet.
The ice cap was imaged on the South Pole, and scientists can not stress the importance of this discovery. The fact is that now the end of summer on Mars, and pictures ice cap show that it is present on the pole year round.
Finding provides new grounds to speculate about what may have occurred on Mars life, as well as the fact that the planet will be living in the future. Reuters notes that "local" water will greatly facilitate the implementation of the "Mission to Mars" astronauts.
Recall, for the first time about the discovery of traces of water on the south pole of Mars European Space Agency announced on February 23. In the current report states that it found the ice cap, it is large, and it is accompanied by carbon dioxide CO2. In fact, at the south pole is found frozen soda. Americans this should particularly like.
"We have presented the first direct evidence, including a map of carbon dioxide and water ice in the high latitudes of Mars" — says the French astronomer Jean-Pierre Bibring in the journal Nature. According to the map on Mars for three large ice caps. Bibring said that the elemental composition of the white caps at the South Pole was established on the basis of the analysis of the reflection properties of surfaces, the refraction of light and heat radiation.
"The earlier used equipment made it impossible to identify all the components of what we could see," — emphasizes Bibring.
Experts of the European Space Agency did not rule out that a much more significant reserves of water hidden beneath the surface of the planet.
A few weeks before the water on Mars discovered by Americans. First, data from Mars Rover Opportunity, have confirmed that Mars once had water and perhaps life. A few days later, the water found in Gusev Crater and Spirit, though in a much more modest amounts.
American Timothy Titus of Geological Research Center in Flagstaff in a comment to the article European colleagues wrote that the answers to what is able to Mars "life support" in the future depends largely on the distribution of water and carbon dioxide on the surface. Speaking about the possibility of a manned Mars mission, Titus emphasizes that the astronauts will have access to the value of a single resource — water. "Martian water is required not only for the people, it is a key element in order to make the air breathable planet, as well as for the synthesis of fuel for the ship's return to Earth," — says Titus.

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