, Volume 37, Issue 5, pp 366-377

Search for Water in Martian Soil Using Global Neutron Mapping by the Russian HEND Instrument Onboard the US 2001 Mars Odyssey Spacecraft

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We present the first results of the global neutron mapping of Mars by the Russian High-Energy Neutron Detector (HEND) onboard the US 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft. Global neutron maps of Mars in various spectral ranges allow the content of water ice and adsorbed and bound water in a near-surface layer of the planet 1 to 2 m in thickness to be estimated. Huge regions of permafrost with a high (several tens of percent by weight) content of water ice are shown to be present in the north and the south of Mars. The continuous observations of Mars for 12 months, from February 18, 2002, through February 8, 2003, are indicative of significant seasonal variations on Mars where the transition from northern winter to northern summer occurred.