What does the discovery of an ice crater on Mars mean?


Yesterday I received the following question in the mail:


Mars Express, an artificial satellite of Mars, captured this impressive photo of Korolyov Crater. The crater is 81.4 kilometers in diameter and is located south of the Olympia dune fields surrounding the north pole of Mars.

This geological feature is called

This ice can be used by future settlers and astronauts, both to obtain water for drinking and to obtain hydrogen for fuel for the return flight and oxygen for breathing.

The volume of ice in the crater is approximately 2,200 cubic kilometers. And although some part of this volume may be admixtures of Martian dust frozen in ice, it is still a huge volume of water. It is currently the largest water reservoir found on Mars.

Mars has several smaller craters that are also filled with ice, but none of them has such huge reserves of water. If a settlement is founded next to this crater, then the water from this crater will be enough for people for many hundreds of years.

This place may become more convenient for the colony only if lava tubes (tunnels formed by the flowing lava flows) are found nearby in the near future. Lava tubes would be the perfect place to build an underground colony.

This is why finding such a large supply of water is incredibly important for the future exploration of Mars.