In the event that we are successful in landing on Mars, we will need to know where some of the more desirable locations are, right?! NASA has developed a map that will assist mission planners in making decisions about where on Mars to land the first astronauts to explore the planet. The Subsurface Water Ice Mapping (SWIM) project, which is financed by NASA, has produced its fourth and newest map of areas on Mars where we could discover subsurface water ice. As you might think, this map shows potential locations, but it has yet to guarantee their best (yet) fully. Have a look at it down below:
The amount of water ice found in locations across the Martian mid-latitudes isn’t uniform; some regions seem to have more than others, and no one really knows why; […] The newest SWIM map could lead to new hypotheses for why these variations happen, explained Nathaniel Putzig, SWIM’s co-lead at the Planetary Science Institute.
One of the primary goals of astronauts is to locate water ice, which will provide them with a vital supply of water and reduce the amount of water they need to transport from Earth. If it gets too cold, those on board will have to expend additional quantities of the precious resource, energy, in order to maintain themselves warm.
Data from the Context Camera (CTX) and the High-Resolution Imaging Experiment (HiRISE), two of which are onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, were utilized by the researchers so that they could create the most recent version of their map. And even outside the realm of mission planning, scientists hope that they utilize maps like SWIM to have a deeper understanding of why Mars appears the way it does.
Since 2017, SWIM, which is directed by the Planetary Science Institute and administered by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, has been compiling data from different NASA Mars missions in order to piece together a map that indicates the likelihood that a particular region of Mars contains water.