Nasa finds proof of water on Mars

Posted on 10:50 PM by Sameer Shah

Last month the spacecraft uncovered a bright white layer just two inches below the surface, which disappeared four days after it was exposed to sunlight, leading scientists to believe it was ice.

After exmaining a soil sample from a trench approximately two inches deep, the claim has been confirmed.

In a Nasa statement, William Boynton of the University of Arizona said: “We have water.

“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.”

Phoenix principal investigator Peter Smith, of the University of Arizona, said: “Mars is giving us some surprises.

“We’re excited because surprises are where discoveries come from.”

Scientists will now begin asking whether the frozen water could have been liquid at some point in the planet’s history, which would have created an environment in which life could have evolved.

Experts believe that if life ever existed on Mars, it could still survive today in isolated pockets beneath the soil.

Nasa has plans to send astronauts to Mars after returning humans to the moon in 2020.

The Phoenix spacecraft landed on the Martian surface on May 25 for its three-month mission.

Since touching down, it has been analysing the atmosphere and the soil, taking pictures of the surface and digging a number of trenches.

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