In recent years, MRO has also revealed vast glacial deposits. These belts wrap around the planet’s central latitudes in the northern and southern hemispheres, hidden beneath a thick layer of dust that protects them from the sun. In 2015, researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark, modeled
these glaciers using MRO radar measurements and showed that, if melted, their water could cover the entire Red Planet in a sea 3 feet deep. Aside from stoking hopes that Mars might nurture microbial communities, the deposits could also provide crucial water supplies for any future human visits.
And MRO wasn’t alone in its watery finds in 2015. NASA’s eyes on the ground — the Curiosity rover — found clues that liquid brine could also lurk just beneath its wheels at night. The craft’s weather instrument recorded temperature and humidity levels that would likely result in saltwater formation, albeit in amounts and temperatures unfavorable to life.