The first sample of Martian soil taken by the Mars rover, Curiosity, has proven to be about 2% water. That is, not only has there been water on Mars in the past but, in addition to its polar ice caps, there is water on it now. Because the soil sample is representative of much of the surface of Mars its contents demonstrate that a substantial amount of water exists on the planet. Per the article:
“About 2 percent of the soil on the surface of Mars is made up of water, which is a great resource, and interesting scientifically.”....When heated, the instrument detected the abundance of water plus significant quantities of carbon dioxide, oxygen and sulfur compounds, according to the researchers. Carbonate materials — compounds that form in the presence of water — were also identified.....“Mars has kind of a global layer, a layer of surface soil that has been mixed and distributed by frequent dust storms. So a scoop of this stuff is basically a microscopic Mars rock collection,” she said. “If you mix many grains of it together, you probably have an accurate picture of typical Martian crust. By learning about it in any one place, you’re learning about the entire planet.”
Thank you John
There is plenty of water on Mars if we take in to account the ice caps on the poles. Now that water has been found in the soil, it can be hoped that some microscopic life also will be found eventually. Emigration to Mars should start soon now!