Serhat TUNAR –TDO- A nuclear tunnel probe that will penetrate Europa’s icy crust to find clues about whether this moon, one of dozens orbiting Jupiter, is a host to life, has been suggested by a group of NASA scientists, reported Sputnik.
Researchers believe Europa is a potential candidate for hosting alien life. They think its icy crust could be hiding a water ocean –and even life– within, but thus far they’ve been unable to see what’s underneath the ice, which could be anything from 2 km to 30 km thick.
NASA’s Glenn Research COMPASS team has come up with an idea to penetrate the ice and then get some answers.
Addressing an American Geophysical Union meeting on Friday, researchers explained a “nuclear powered tunneling probe” could melt through the ice, allowing access to the mysterious content below. The ‘tunnelbot’ could bring with it “a payload that can search for nested, corroborative evidence for extant/extinct life.”
The group explained that they had performed a concept study using a tunnelbot that would “assess the habitability of the ice shell and underlying ocean.”