• 11.08.2022
  • UC San Diego

A new analysis of seismic data from NASA’s Mars InSight mission has revealed a couple of surprises.

The first surprise: the top 300 meters of the subsurface beneath the landing site near the Martian equator contains little or no ice.

“We find that Mars’ crust is weak and porous. The sediments are not well-cemented. And there’s no ice or not much ice filling the pore spaces,” said geophysicist Vashan Wright of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego. Wright and three co-authors published their analysis in Geophysical Research Letters on August 9.

“These findings don’t preclude that there could be grains of ice or small balls of ice that are not cementing other minerals together,” said Wright. “The question is how likely is ice to be present in that form?”