Space missions have discovered water on Mars and in dust particles on the moon. Scientists say that where you find water you find signs of life.

Irish man Shane Byrne is one of a team of scientists working with the American space agency NASA, which announced the discovery of huge amounts of frozen water just beneath the surface of Mars. 

We have an idea now of how much water was available in the martian atmosphere in the recent past.

Hovering three hundred kilometres above Mars, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has spotted five craters that have exposed a layer of ice just below the surface. 

There may even be as much ice hidden there as there is trapped in the glaciers of Greenland.

Doctor Mary Bourke of Trinity College Dublin explains the importance of this finding in terms of the potential for life existing in these environments.  

It's important for our understanding of the entire planet and its evolution.

High resolution images of the discovery will feature as part of an open air exhibition in Temple Bar for Culture Night.

Separately, a surprising amount of water has been discovered in the moon's soil.  

Very fine films of H2O coat the particles that make up lunar dust.

While the quantity is tiny, it could become a useful resource for astronauts wishing to live on the moon.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 25 September 2009. The reporter is Flor McCarthy.