Well. That’s some big news.
Mars has liquid water.
It’s been long suspected, watching the changing striations over the years, and sensing what seems to be material of the proper density just under much of the service. But real chemstry showing the action of liquid water… that is truly the operational door that any future crewed Martian missions would need to walk through to do just about anything of real value.
You need plastic, water has the hydrogen.
You need working fluid for machining operations. Water works pretty well as a base.
Fuel’s the thing? Hydrogen and Oxygen split pretty simply.
Food? Water feeds plants and animals both. Mars already has carbon for proteins and carbohydrates.
Something to drink? Water, right?
You’re fond of breathing? Oxygen again.
This announcement today has been on the tip of our scientific tongues for decades, and now it can be spoken of confidently. It will take a bit for this to filter through current events, and for it to sink in with mission planners and policy makers. But it will.