NASA’s HiRISE instrument on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has revealed a new circular feature on the surface of Mars, which scientists believe might be an impact on the South Polar layered deposits, according to The Indian Express.
“Measuring the sizes and frequency of impact craters provides a constraint on the age of the landscape. However, craters in icy terrain are modified by processes that flatten and change them in such a manner that it is hard to say for sure if it had an impact origin,” a NASA statement reads.
The development comes days after NASA announced its MRO’s Context Camera (CTX) has taken close to 90,000 images since it started examining the Red Planet in 2006. The camera sends back images in about 20 feet per pixel and has covered about 99.1 per cent of the Martian surface. Further, MRO completed its 50,000th orbit on March 27.
In a separate report, NASA researchers said the best material for a home on the Red Planet might be ice. The Mars Ice Home will protect astronauts from the harsh Martian environment. Mars Ice Home, a potential concept for sustainable habitation on the Red Planet, will be a large inflatable torus surrounded by a shell of water ice.
“After a day dedicated to identifying needs, goals and constraints we rapidly assessed many crazy, out of the box ideas and finally converged on the current Ice Home design, which provides a sound engineering solution,” Kevin Vipavetz from NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, said in a statement.