NASA May Use a ‘Tunnelbot’ to Search for Life on Jupiter’s Moon

Scientists have proposed a way to retrieve samples from Jupiter’s icy moon, Europa, which is believed to contain a liquid ocean underneath that could hold microbial life.

Andrew Dombard, associate professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Illinois (UIC), along with colleagues, presented a solution by using a nuclear-powered tunneling probe to go deep under the surface of the moon, according to a report by UIC.

“Estimates of the thickness of the ice shell range between 2 and 30 kilometers (1.2 and 18.6 miles), and is a major barrier any lander will have to overcome in order to access areas we think have a chance of holding biosignatures representative of life on Europa,” Dombard said.

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