David Kirkpatrick

June 20, 2008

H2O on Mars!

Filed under: Science — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:28 pm

It’s the early report, but if all is absolutely confirmed this is very, very exciting news for mankind and the future of space travel.

From the link:

Scientists in charge of the Phoenix Mars lander are more convinced there is ice near the Martian North pole as they review new images from the Red Planet. Eight small pieces of a bright material “have vanished from inside a trench where they were photographed by NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander four days ago, convincing scientists that the material was frozen water that vaporized after digging exposed it,” said a statement from Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s website.

“It must be ice,” said Phoenix Principal Investigator Peter Smith of the University of Arizona, Tucson. “These little clumps completely disappearing over the course of a few days, that is perfect evidence that it’s ice. There had been some question whether the bright material was salt. Salt can’t do that.”

If you haven’t been following the Mars Phoenix Lander story you might not have heard it’s using Twitter to tweet information back to Earth. Here’s the tweet after the water discovery:

 “Are you ready to celebrate?  Well, get ready: We have ICE!!!!! Yes, ICE, *WATER ICE* on Mars!  w00t!!!  Best day ever!!” the Mars Phoenix Lander tweeted at about 5:15 pm.

 Update 7/31/08 — Water on Mars has been confirmed.

From the link:

“We have water,” said William Boynton of the University of Arizona, lead scientist for the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer, or TEGA. “We’ve seen evidence for this water ice before in observations by the Mars Odyssey orbiter and in disappearing chunks observed by Phoenix last month, but this is the first time Martian water has been touched and tasted.”

With enticing results so far and the spacecraft in good shape, NASA also announced operational funding for the mission will extend through Sept. 30. The original prime mission of three months ends in late August. The mission extension adds five weeks to the 90 days of the prime mission.

“Phoenix is healthy and the projections for solar power look good, so we want to take full advantage of having this resource in one of the most interesting locations on Mars,” said Michael Meyer, chief scientist for the Mars Exploration Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

The soil sample came from a trench approximately 2 inches deep. When the robotic arm first reached that depth, it hit a hard layer of frozen soil. Two attempts to deliver samples of icy soil on days when fresh material was exposed were foiled when the samples became stuck inside the scoop. Most of the material in Wednesday’s sample had been exposed to the air for two days, letting some of the water in the sample vaporize away and making the soil easier to handle.


  1. […] Mars Phoenix Lander, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter — davidkirkpatrick @ 2:08 am I’ve blogged about Phoenix finding evidence of current water on Mars, and here’s a press release on H2O on the ancient Martian […]

    Pingback by More evidence of past water on Mars « David Kirkpatrick — July 17, 2008 @ 2:08 am

  2. […] How Scientists Discovered Salty Water on the Red Planet | David Kirkpatrick Is there water on Mars? davidkirkpatrick.wordpress.com/2008/06/20/h2o-on-mars/ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_on_Mars – The Daily Open Mind … Mars h20. […]

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  3. […] Found it! Ice on Mars – NASA Science davidkirkpatrick.wordpress.com/2008/06/20/h2o-on-mars/ Liquid water exists on Mars, boosting hopes for life, NASA … Is there an H20 rich atmosphere […]

    Pingback by The 7 Worst Water Bottles Of All Time Mars h20 | sendtatyana1021 — June 20, 2016 @ 1:04 pm

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