NASA Scientists Consider Using Robot Snake To Search For Extraterrestrial Life

A robotic snake known as Exobiology Extant Life Surveyor (EELS) is being developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to seek for life outdoors planet Earth. EELS will be capable of discover otherworldly terrains utilizing spinning wheels alongside its physique. Its main goal is Enceladus, a small icy moon of Saturn, the place knowledge from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft suggests the presence of a liquid ocean beneath its icy crust.

Plumes erupting from the moon’s floor function direct conduits to this liquid water, making them potential pathways to a liveable liquid ocean. EELS will crawl down crevasses and swim by means of water to analyze such environments, utilizing revolutionary rotating propulsion items that perform as tracks, gripping mechanisms, and underwater propeller items. This could allow the robotic to entry a plume vent exit and hint it again to its ocean supply.

Dr. Martin Robinson, the undertaking supervisor, envisions a platform that might discover any location, even descending into lunar lava tubes. EELS’ adaptability opens up potentialities for different locations, comparable to Martian polar caps and crevasses in Earth’s ice sheets. JPL is collaborating with Earth scientists to determine high-priority, high-impact terrestrial scientific investigations that may display EELS’ capabilities in a planetary analogue setting. Exams have been performed inside Canada’s Athabasca Glacier and Mount Meager Volcano.

EELS’ versatility and machine intelligence make it appropriate for varied unvisited planetary locations and areas on Earth. The invention of potential life could be an unimaginable achievement, signifying that we’re not alone. Dr. Hiro Ono, Principal Investigator at JPL, describes the undertaking as a “versatile, extremely smart, and tremendous superior snake robotic.”

Filed in Robots. Learn extra about NASA.

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