The European Space Agency confirmed the availability of water below the surface of Mars. Water is a valuable resource to those who want to set up bases on Mars for various activities. One of these is the colonization of the red planet. Such an exercise would involve robotics on a large scale supported by Artificial Intelligence and renewable energy. These are the three vital components of setting up a base on an alien surface millions of miles away. The feedback of the ESA is that the precious commodity lies a few feet below the surface of the Valles Mariners.

This is, in fact, a massive canyon system. It stretches for more than 2,400 miles across the landscape.

Daily Mail UK reports the area is about the size of the Netherlands and holds promises. A scientist explained: "We found a central part of Valles Marineris to be packed full of water – far more water than we expected." He added that it resembled the permafrost regions on Earth where water ice below the dry soil is a permanent feature. NASA and ESA have already joined hands in the Mars Sample Return MSR program.

In 2006, NASA had mentioned water on Mars

The American Space Agency NASA released the first evidence of the presence of water in 2006. Photographs of two craters on Mars showed telltale marks of liquid water.

Subsequently, in 2008, NASA's Phoenix Mars lander confirmed the presence of water ice on the Red Planet. Its elements were the same as the water available on Earth. Daily Mail UK also talks about many ancient dried-out valleys and river channels. These indicated the possibility of liquid water flowing on the planet. Right now, NASA's Perseverance is exploring Mars.

One item of interest is the Jezero Crater. This could have been a lake filled with water some 3.5 billion years ago. Curiosity rover has been on Mars since 2012, unearthing the secrets of the Red Planet.

The latest technology helped locate water on Mars close to the surface

Images from Mars have shown remnants of water as ice stored in the polar cap or deep in the ground.

However, technological advances have helped to locate water closer to the surface. Researchers can now view the area below the surface up to a depth of nearly 40 inches (1 meter). An official of the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow says: "With TGO we can look down to one meter below this dusty layer and see what's really going on below Mars' surface – and, crucially, locate water-rich 'oases' that couldn't be detected with previous instruments." The Trace Gas Orbiter TGO launched in 2016 as the first of two launches under the ExoMars program. In 2022, a European rover and a Russian surface platform will join TGO. Their mission would be to understand whether life ever existed on Mars.

An ESA-Roscosmos joint mission found water on Mars

According to CNN, the ExoMars TGO launched in 2016 was a joint mission between the ESA and Roscosmos. It detected water in Valles Marineris on Mars. This canyon system is the Mars version of the Grand Canyon and several times larger. The ESA says Mars has "significant amounts of water." Water on Mars is located in the polar regions of the Red Planet in the form of water ice. This discovery was made possible by using an instrument FREND to identify hydrogen. This instrument is a neutron telescope to map hydrogen content in the Martian soil. A senior Russian scientist explains: "We can deduce how much water is in a soil by looking at the neutrons it emits." In 2022, ESA and Russia plan to launch a rover and a surface platform. These would land on Mars in 2023. They would search for signs of organic material that could reveal if Mars ever hosted life