Today’s Solutions: August 10, 2022

When there are so many problems that need to be taken care of on planet Earth, it can seem like a waste of resources to be searching for life beyond our planet. Regardless, the search continues, and we at the Optimist Daily feel a bit obliged to give the positive updates that come from this extraterrestrial research.

Recently, researchers created a map of the surface of Mars where water ice (so-called because other chemical compounds can freeze) is believed to be located. In some places, the ice is as little as 2.5 centimeters below the surface, making it easily accessible to future visitors. Locating reserves of ice have been an important mission for NASA as it could help identify sites for projects like SpaceX’s planned Mars base.

Water is heavy to transport aboard rockets, so finding it on Mars could help humans survive there. However, because the planet has such a thin atmosphere, most water on the surface evaporates quickly. Looking below the Martian surface provides the best hope of finding accessible water ice, and that there may even be liquid water beneath the polar ice caps.

With this new map, researchers have a blueprint for where to start planning missions and eventually sending astronauts to Mars.

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