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Space & Astronomy

Laser device could drill in to icy moons

April 23, 2012 | Comment icon 2 comments



Image Credit: NASA
A new robotic device that uses lasers shot through fiber-optic cable has been developed by scientsts.
The device is a step forward in the future exploration of icy bodies such as Europa which is believed to hide an ocean of liquid water below a surface crust of ice. Conventional methods for getting down through the ice won't work as batteries wouldn't last long enough and solar power won't work once the probe has drilled down far enough.

Inventor Bill Stone believes that the new cryobot design would be able to succeed where these other methods fail. "Our modest goal over the next three years is to use a 5,000-watt laser to send a cryobot through up to 250 meters of ice," he says.
This new technology could allow robotic probes to penetrate thick layers of ice to explore Antarctic lakes or the subterranean oceans on icy moons like Europa or Enceladus, and even power a new kind of rocket into space.


Source: Wired | Comments (2)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Sundew 10 years ago
It would be fascinating to see video beamed back to earth of an alien world's ocean, and possibly its alien aquatic life-forms. Only wish it was on the way there now!
Comment icon #2 Posted by Hybrid89 10 years ago
I agree 'Sundew'. it would be fricken awesome lol.


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