Making good on his statement, two years later, Orosei, along with a team headed by Sebastian Emanuel Lauro at the Università degli studi Roma Tre, Italy, have done just that by discovering several subglacial liquid bodies of various sizes strewn under Mars' South polar region.
Researchers accept they've discovered more proof affirming the presence of a huge repository of liquid water under the outside of Mars initially found in 2018.
Now, old and new MARSIS data reveals the existence of this "patchwork" of three lakes, although it's not known if they are connected with the lake found in 2018. Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding or MARSIS, as the instrument is called, is capable of sending out radio waves that bounce off materials on the planet's surface. The method the scientists used is similar to what has been used to find buried lakes underneath glaciers of Antarctica and the Canadian Arctic on Earth.
The data collected by MARSIS indicate that there is liquid water here.
The team also looked at whether recent magmatic activity could be responsible for keeping the ponds liquid, but ruled this out in favour of the salt water theory, as a geothermal explanation did not fit with other key evidence obtained from planetary observations so far.
However, the study contained some optimism from this perspective, stating that the possibility of these extended hypersaline water bodies is "particularly exciting because of the potential for the existence of microbial life".
This originally discovered lake is discovered to be about the size of lake Windermere, spanning 12 miles (20km) and buried almost a mile (1.5km) underground.
That said, the researchers in the new study, led by Elena Pettinelli from Roma Tre University, have pointed out that further research needs to be carried out to better examine Mars and its chemistry makeup. Chemical reactions between water and rock might release some energy but probably not enough; it would help if there was an occasional volcanic eruption, or at least hot spring, feeding into lake.
The low pressure that results from the lack of an atmosphere makes surface water on Mars impossible - unless it's protected by something.
Whether life could survive in such conditions depends on just how salty these Martian pools are.
It is beginning to look as if the most favourable place for liquid water on Mars is beneath its vast south polar ice cap.
These bodies of water are potentially interesting biologically and "future missions to Mars should target this region", the researchers wrote.
This article has been adapted from its original source.