The discovery of an ice crater on Mars will be a boon for those like NASA, Elon Musk, Mars One etcetera who plan to colonize the red planet. The European Space Agency's mars express has shared images of the new find identified as the Korolev crater. Initial indications are that it is a 50-mile wide crater situated in the northern lowlands of the planet. ESA considers it as “an especially well-preserved example of a Martian crater.”

Daily Mail UK reports the crater appears filled not by snow but ice, and at its center, there is a thick layer of water ice at all times.

On a rough estimate, this deposit would translate into a huge amount of non-polar ice on Mars. This discovery by the European Space Agency is significant and this location could be the starting point for colonization.

About the Korolev crater

The ice crater on Mars gets its name from Sergei Korolev who is the father of Soviet space technology. He was the chief rocket engineer and spacecraft designer who was associated with a number of prestigious missions that included the Sputnik program in 1957. This was the first ever artificial satellite sent into orbit around the Earth. Subsequently, there were other programs like the Vostok which was the spacecraft that carried Yuri Gagarin, the first human to go into space in 1961.

Sergei Korolev was also involved in developing rockets that led to the successful Soyuz launcher. This continues to be the workhorses of Russian space programs and is currently the vehicle to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station.

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Incidentally, there are deposits of smaller amounts of water ice on and around the edges of the crater. The floor is at a depth of nearly two kilometers vertically beneath its rim and the ESA's ExoMars program could use this region to begin searching for traces of life.

Ice crater on Mars is a positive sign

According to RT, the Korolev crater is not in the form of snow but in the form of a thick block of water ice similar to a glacier.

The amount of ice is comparable to the volume of the Great Bear Lake in Canada. It will give a boost to humans who might have plans to colonize the red planet because they could break the ice up into hydrogen and oxygen and use them as fuel for their rockets.

Mars is getting crowded. Already it is hosting two robots from NASA in the form of Curiosity and InSight who are trying to understand the red planet. Mars One is training its volunteers to settle on Mars and the importance of the Korolev crater is bound to increase since solid ice is a source of water. Elon Musk is also interested in colonizing Mars.