In general this is pretty awesome. What we now know are:
1) Earth microbes and soil organisms (worms) can live in hydrated martian soil. (https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/11/mars-soil-earthw...)
2) Food plants can grow in martian soil that has had said organisms added to it.(https://www.nasa.gov/feature/farming-in-martian-gardens)
3) The water to hydrate the soil is already on Mars.(this article)
4) We can build an artificial magnetosphere to protect an area from solar radiation.
So one trip to Mars that can land a small (< 100kW) power plant, organic amendments, tools, and material for a pressurized green house will be able to create a 'farm' on Mars. That is pretty neat.
 They designed it for spacecraft propulsion but it has the effect of a shield if installed in a ground station. http://earthweb.ess.washington.edu/space/M2P2/theory.html
The images are impressively detailed, but first impression is probaby. Water? How do they know from a picture of a cliff?
Water has been confirmed by spectroscopy, thermal imaging and (previously) radar.
From the article:
"Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) confirmed that the bright material is frozen water. A check of the surface temperature using Odyssey's Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) camera helped researchers determine they're not seeing just thin frost covering the ground.
Researchers previously used MRO's Shallow Radar (SHARAD) to map extensive underground water-ice sheets in middle latitudes of Mars and estimate that the top of the ice is less than about 10 yards beneath the ground surface."
The original title is "Steep Slopes on Mars Reveal Structure of Buried Ice". The HN title "Buried Ice Water Discovered on Mars" is misleading - we've known about large midlatitude underground ice deposits for some years now.
I hope so but this type of finding has been wrong before. See the recent discrediting of liquid "brines" on Mars:
Until a rover or other probe tests it directly, I'll remain skeptical.
Apparently, the first resource to be mined on Mars will be water ice.
Would this water be drinkable if we inhabit Mars?
> "Astronauts could essentially just go there with a bucket and a shovel and get all the water they need,"
That's so awesome.
Start the reactor. Free Mars.
When can i buy the raw water version of it?
Great now we can mess up on another planet.
Time to invent campaign slogan.
They thought they could leave it all behind. Be better than that. Donate for somalia in the sky.
I really wish NASA made the joke, "it feels like we knew nothing about Mars? and all of a sudden we achieved Total Recall!!!"