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NASA Suggests Studying Icy Moons Using Thermal Drilling Cryobots

Celestial body exploration

NASA Suggests Studying Icy Moons Using Thermal Drilling Cryobots

NASA has introduced a plan to deploy robots that can explore the icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn.

NASA officials shared insights from a workshop held in February that explored the possibility of using “cryobots” in outer space. The concept uses thermal drilling to bore into the moons’ icy surface and gather cylindrical samples akin to how scientists gather glacier samples on Earth.

Deploying cryobots into the moons of Jupiter and Saturn would support studies on the potential of the moons hosting or sustaining life due to the presence of water, Space .com reported.

Some of the issues projected for the envisioned cryobot mission are harsh space environments, thermal management, surface penetrability and spacecraft-to-Earth communications.

The cryobot plan comes after NASA announced the Dragonfly mission, which will carry a spectrometer that would reveal the chemistry of the surface of the Saturnian moon Titan. The Dragonfly mission, slated for launch in 2027, includes a robotic lander that will travel to several points on Titan to collect samples using a drill system designed specifically for complex organics.

The spectrometer will break the samples into molecules, which will be analyzed using a sensor. The mission is designed to look for signs of living things on Titan.

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Category: Space

Tags: celestial body exploration cryobot Jupiter NASA robotic system Saturn space Space .com thermal drilling water discovery