NASA Tests a Drone To Explore Jupiter’s Moon in Antarctica (popularmechanics.com)

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Three months of research in Antarctica is just the beginning for one Georgia Tech researcher, according to an article shared by schwit1:
The waters beneath our planet’s ice sheet are fascinating, turning up species few people have ever laid eyes on. But they are not the final target of this chase. Icefin [a 10-foot-long subsea drone] is meant to search for alien life — a “bug hunt,” as some scientists cheerfully call it. It is bound for the icy waters of Jupiter’s moon, Europa, possibly as soon as 2030…

The new equipment includes sensors to monitor for organics and measure environmental factors like the presence of dissolved oxygen and levels of acidity, all to see if Europa could (in theory) support life in its subterranean seas… The subsea drone is also smarter than its prototype predecessor, and that high-IQ autonomy would be needed on Europa. The probe must not only operate 400 million miles from Earth but also navigate all by itself under alien ice.


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