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Eventually, we're going to Mars. But to build a human settlement, we'll need readily-accessible water to foster life-support, and use it to sustain agriculture, procure rocket propellant, and more.

However, if we don't choose the right location, the first humans to settle on Mars could become permanent residents of the grim variety — lacking ready-made rocket fuel or basic necessities. With this condition in mind, a new study published in Nature Astronomy reveals a comprehensive map, detailing the most- and least-likely locations where water ice could turn up on the planet's northern hemisphere.

And, to fully optimize astronauts' time on the Red Planet — NASA and other international agencies are drawing up plans to send robots capable of enhancing our map of ice water deposits on Mars — providing certainty where ambiguity is most unacceptable.

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