NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Astrobiology cryobot probe. This probe is designed to penetrate and study ice formations on Earth and also on other worlds, such as Mars and Europa. The ice may harbour microbes, such as found in samples of ice drilled from deep below Antarctica. To move through the ice, the cryobot melts the surface below it, and falls through the liquid water, which then refreezes behind it. For terrestrial use, a communications cable would transmit to the surface, while the thicker ice of Europa, a moon of Jupiter, would require leaving relays of radio transmitters in the ice. Conventional drilling can contaminate samples, unlike a cryobot. This cryobot has been designed by NASA.
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