Settling on Mars may not be as difficult as first feared. NASA scientists have discovered a huge deposit of water ice just under the surface of the Red Planet. The ice has been found in the Utopia Planitia region of the planet, a large depression in the northern hemisphere formed by a massive impact early in the planet's …

  1. AlexS

    Reported as FAKE NEWS.

    1. Kaltern


    2. cd

      Nah, it's just a mile or so from the statue of Elvis.

    3. David Webb

      Nasa disagrees. So not fake news at all.

      1. AlexS

        I can't believe I'm doing this but I guess some people aren't getting it. FYI This is a troll icon.--->

        This generally means a person isn't being serious. But nevermind.

        Elvis you are being upvoted. Any B52 landing claims will be treated similarly.

        1. Long John Brass


's are still a thing?

          1. harmjschoonhoven

            Re: Wow

            B-52's are still flying (*) in anger.

            (*) 27 minute War College podcast. North Korea sets off a nuclear bomb and how does the U.S. respond? The Pentagon sends a 65-year-old airplane to buzz Korean airspace. It wouldn't make a lot of sense if the warplane wasn't the B-52 bomber. Designed in the aftermath of World War Two, obsolete nearly before the last one rolled off the line in 1961 - the Stratofortress may remain in the air for another 25 years.

            1. Long John Brass

              Re: Wow

              > B-52's are still flying (*) in anger.

              This not the joke you are looking for

        2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge


          I saw the troll icon. I just thought your post was a waste of space.

        3. Jamesit

          Icons don't show on the mobile version of this site.

  2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Martian Ice - Sparkling or Still?

    It's bad enough already over here with all the mineral and vitamin fortified waters being shipped and flown across the world. At least I will not be alive when the first batch of bottled water from Mars is available here.

    The Two Ronnies - Water Pub

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Martian Ice - Sparkling or Still?

      Martian Ice - Sparkling or Still?

      Dunno - ask the Chinese when they get there first..

    2. breakfast Silver badge

      Re: Martian Ice - Sparkling or Still?

      But then when you have booze from martian distilleries, people will be able to open Mars bars.

    3. Schultz

      Re: Martian Ice - Sparkling or Still?

      Martian water has never been peed in. That's one thing it has over Earth water, aka Dinosaur pee".

      Just trying to fit this into today's toilet-themed theRegister issue.

  3. redpawn

    Is this why

    New Mexico is so dry?

  4. Simon Harris


    That's about 15 Waleses for those that want it in official units.

    With the added benefit that 15 Waleses has a more similar water content than 1 New Mexico.

    1. Pen-y-gors

      Re: Units

      Very helpful - but how many Windermeres in a Lake Superior?

      1. Tom 38

        Re: Units

        Assuming I've got my maths right, Lake Superior is approximately 38,535 Windermeres

        Superior = 12,100 x 10^9 m³

        Windermere = 314 x 10^6 m³

        1. The Nazz

          Re: Units

          Ahem, am i correct in guessing/thinking that Lake Superior is a little bit (quite a lot really) deeper, in parts, than Lake Windermere?

          Does this justify a revised calculation?

          1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

            Re: Units

            re Nazz : "Does this justify a revised calculation?"

            I'd say not give that the numbers quoted were cubic metres not square ones.

      2. x 7

        Re: Units

        how many whales in a Windermere? And how many in Lake Superior?

  5. Raphael

    Dunno if I would want to go near it.....I saw that episode of Dr Who.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Hey, Elon!

    We found your gas station!

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: Hey, Elon!

      We found your gas station!
      But have they found the Utopia Planitia Fleet shipyards?

      1. MrXavia
        Thumb Up

        Re: Hey, Elon!

        my first thought also!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hey, Elon!

          whut? gas station?

          Frozen water wont even cool your car radiator ( cos u cant get it in) never mind fuel it.

          what u talkin about? and i hope its not that cold fusion power-from-water bullcrap.

  7. Number6

    I hope they are careful when filtering that water for human consumption, ask the Doctor what happens if they don't...

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Hi Dr!

      What happens if I drink Martian Water?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    McMars Distillery

    Water source for the ultimate snob Whiskey?

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: McMars Distillery

      You're not really trying. I get water for *my* whisky only from the rings of Saturn...

      (Actually, I should get around to nudging a few icebergs Mars' way; a few gigatons of water arriving at escape velocity should improve the climate no end).

      Signed: the Brennan Monster

      1. MondoMan

        Re: McMars Distillery

        No need -- just activate the ancient alien machine hidden under Mars' surface.

      2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: McMars Distillery

        Well at least you don't get your water from the depths of Uranus...

      3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: McMars Distillery

        a few gigatons of water arriving at escape velocity should improve the climate no end

        Can we try that here? I hear that Texas is complaining about a lack of water..

      4. Sam Therapy

        Re: McMars Distillery

        Deserving of upvote for Protector reference.

  9. herman Silver badge

    OK, so they found voda - yeah da. Call me when they find vodka!

    1. theModge

      I believe that post may contain all of my Russian vocab. Apart from "pivo" which IIRC is beer?

      I can neither read nor write Cyrillic sadly.

    2. AceRimmer1980
      IT Angle

      Start the reaktah!

      Dr Watney is sciencing his sh1t out of this place to grow spuds, so making vodka is one small step for drunkind.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, next steps ..

    1 - the Europeans set up a new Mars mission. Which, unusually, lands in one piece, only to immediately sink below the surface because it has melted the very ice it was looking for with its landing flame.

    2 - NASA sends a new Rover which lands on the edge, trundles over to the European parts still sticking out after the lake has re-frozen and cuts it out with its laser.

    3 - they happily live ever after and go and repair all the other robots using the pieces of all the other failed European Mars missions.

    4 - Trump bills Europe for the repairs, the EU returns a bill for supplying spare parts and they spend the rest of his term in court fighting over it.

    Hey, that analyst stuff isn't that hard after all. Where do I sign up?


    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: So, next steps ..

      Given mission timescales, I'm afraid that (4) there is unlikely.

      Unless you lot are stupid enough to reelect him of course...

      1. Toltec

        Re: So, next steps ..

        "Unless you lot are stupid enough to reelect him of course..."

        You think he will allow elections?

        1. mr.K
          Black Helicopters

          Re: So, next steps ..

          Of course he will allow elections.

          Accepting the result however seems to be conditional.

  11. Kingston Black

    Mud Then

    "It's not pure ice, but about 50 to 85 per cent water, mixed with dust or larger rocky particles". Down on farm 'ere, I calls that mud.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Mud Then

      Martian Mud PiesTM - this could mean trouble for the Elbonian mud industry.

      1. x 7

        Re: Mud Then

        Martian Mud PiesTM - the faeces of Martian Rock Snakes (remember Zero-X)

        1. Sam Therapy

          Re: Mud Then

          Yup. Also the starting point for Captain Scarlet.

  12. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Less thatn 200m down

    That's not too bad. It's a lot more concentrated source of H2 and O2.

    Although likely to be pretty gungy.

    Good news.

    But keep in mind if this is frozen as you take melt stuff out nothing comes in to fill up the space.


    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: Less thatn 200m down

      I'm thinking dig a hole, let it sublime, and condense the evaporate.

  13. 0laf


    It's going to be like mud rock is it not. They'll need to mine for that water.

  14. MAF

    Wall needed?

    Quick build a wall around it!

    Oh sorry, you said NEW Mexico....

  15. Yesnomaybe

    50 to 85%??

    Yup, that's "mud" to you and me. That sounds pretty perfect. It should be possible to tunnel through that, using only heat. and some kind of pump. What I propose (I could do with a BIT of funding, I'll set up a Kickstarter thing or something) is: Land on surface of mud-lake. Drop something hot onto frozen mud, tied to a string or something. (I'll flesh this out with details later) Pump slurry out of hole and away.

    Lower the hot thing (I'm thinking a sub-critical lump of plutonium, heavily shielded) gradually. Keep pumping that mud. Keep going until you reach bottom, but pump a bit slower to create a chamber. Plug the shaft (using mud, now liquid, it will set like concrete!), but install doors in the plug in a couple of places. Now set up camp in your pressurized, radiation-shielded "warm" (-1 or -2 C) cave. Easy access to water. Tunnel horizontally outwards when you need more space. Refreezing bulkheads as you go.

    I know I am sounding a bit flippant about this, but this could really be a game-changer if we are serious about colonizing Mars. This makes it possible. Up until now, a permanent self-sustaining colony has NOT been possible.

    1. cray74

      Re: 50 to 85%??

      Now set up camp in your pressurized, radiation-shielded "warm" (-1 or -2 C) cave. Easy access to water. Tunnel horizontally outwards when you need more space. Refreezing bulkheads as you go.

      The US Army found bases in ice sound cool (har), but ice has a tendency to move and deform over time.

      1. Yesnomaybe

        Re: 50 to 85%??

        No doubt it would sag a bit over time. But there is no glacial flow in any direction, so would be much more stable than any ice there on Earth would be.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm confused...

    .. with your new-fangled measurement schema.

    Please can you tell me how big this is in standard Wales units?

    1. Simon Harris

      Re: I'm confused...

      Don't worry - I already did the maths for you.

    2. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: I'm confused...

      The New Mexico is the standard unit to use when you're talking about a large area that may have an alien spaceship crashed somewhere in it.

  17. Admiral Grace Hopper

    A propos of nothing

    I really like New Mexico. Lovely state, lovely people. The desert gives you space to think.

    Icon: Los Alamos.

    1. Aladdin Sane

      Re: A propos of nothing

      Bit of a meth problem, or so I've heard.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A propos of nothing

        True of the Southwest in general. Hell of an encouragement for your workforce with the right jobs chosen for them. Lord knows I got quite a bit done while tweaking. Actually could use some right now cleaning before Thanksgiving guests arrive.

  18. Faux Science Slayer

    Space Aliens NUKED Mars....

    Dr John Brandenburg offers conclusive proof of stone age culture and....

    high altitude nuke explosion on Mars....not all ETs are friendly....

  19. Indolent Wretch

    Hey... There's a New Mexico??

  20. JJKing

    M Rations

    Yup, that's "mud" to you and me.

    Food and drink in one convenient pack. Who said Mars was an unwelcoming planet. :-)

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    We can now dig up that virus frozen for millenia that killed off all life on Mars and bring it back to earth....

    1. Loyal Commenter

      Re: Finally!

      All I'm saying is that if there is a big saucer shaped metal thing under that ice, don't dig it up, and if you do, have flame-throwers (and Kurt Russell) at the ready.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    There will be aliens...

    ...and they will laugh long and hard at our obsession with DevOps and containers. They they will kill us all.

  23. Glenn 6

    Utopia Planitia?

    Ohhhhh, Utopia Planitia is a region on Mars! And here I thought it was just the fictitious name of the space station that built the Enterprise-D on Star Trek!

    Well facepalm for me! lol

  24. IT Poser

    At least we know what to avoid while digging

  25. Aladdin Sane

    All I'm saying is

    It's a god-awful small affair.

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