NASA has revealed a robot which could drill through the icy surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa to hunt for life.
Its robotic tools would be able to penetrate through the ice, and explore ‘ocean worlds’ ‘underground’.
If developed, these robots could help discover new life in the outer solar system.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have finished a series of prototypes that might make that exploration more successful.
The new technology would be able to reach samples through advanced tools including special wheels to cross ice and a folding arm to reach up to 33 feet.
A ‘projectile launcher mechanism’ would be used to obtain samples at further distances with a ‘claw’ to grab them.
These would have heated prongs which would melt in to secure a grip, then a drill would be able to penetrate the ice.
To really get underground, a buzz saw would hack through icy crust and send samples of ice water back to the surface through tubes.
The prototypes have been developed at Jet Propulsion Laboratory as part of the Oceans Worlds Mobility and Sensing study, funded by NASA’s Science Technology Mission Directorate and NASA is reviewing the prototypes.