NASA is developing a robotic snake to search for life on Saturn’s moon

NASA has created a snake-shaped robot to explore and search for alien life in the solar system. This robot, called Exobiology Extant Life Surveyor (EELS), was developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). This innovative robot is able to penetrate holes, cracks and fissures in celestial bodies and planets in the solar system, allowing it to explore deep, hard-to-reach places.

Snake robot ability

The snake robot is moved by rotating thrusters that act as tracks, gripping mechanisms, and thrusters underwater, allowing it to reach the vent and follow it back to its origin in the ocean. The snake robot is designed to easily adapt to various terrains such as water, sand, rock and ice. This ability stems from his ability to change and adapt his shape based on the terrain he is standing on. In addition, it has rotating screws for gripping and moving through ice structures.

Recently, a NASA team conducted Earth-like tests on the Canadian Athabasca glacier and Mount Meagher volcano. These tests allow the analysis of the navigation ability and resistance of the robot in difficult terrain and improve the final design of the mission.

Exploration of Saturn’s moon Enceladus

EELS initiative It is based on discoveries made by the Cassini probe, which has been exploring Saturn, its rings and moons for about 13 years. The discovery of plumes of water vapor into space by Saturn’s small icy moon Enceladus led to the development of the EELS snake robot. This raises the possibility of a habitable liquid ocean beneath the moon’s icy crust, and has the space community interested in exploring it.

Scientists and engineers hope to study ventilation systems by sending this robot through the moon’s dense crevasses. These cracks have prompted every aspect of EELS engineering to adapt to the challenges it would encounter on this journey from the surface to the ocean. The system’s adaptability opens up other destinations, such as the poles of Mars and the slopes of fissures in Earth’s ice sheets.

EELS can help astronauts establish a home base during upcoming missions. The robot could easily penetrate lava tubes or craters on the lunar surface and determine where and how much water is trapped on the lunar surface. It is difficult to reach such remote locations, but this snake bot can work efficiently and return a large amount of data to Earth.

Project success challenges

However, there are still many challenges and unknowns that need to be addressed before this science fiction concept can become a reality. For example, the robot’s ability to maintain communication with Earth in the harsh environments of Saturn’s moon, the power requirements needed to operate the robot, and its lifespan are some of the challenges that need to be overcome.

This project demonstrates how advanced technology and robotics can improve space exploration and our understanding of the universe. The EELS snake robot marks a new era in space exploration and demonstrates humanity’s ability to design and build innovative technology that can overcome obstacles and explore unknown places.

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