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NASA to Use a Steam-Powered Robot to Explore Icy Moons that Could Host Alien Life

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Article by Chris Ciaccia                              June 30, 2020                                  (foxnews.com)

• NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory notes on its website that researchers are developing a soccer-ball sized robot known as SPARROW (Steam Propelled Autonomous Retrieval Robot for Ocean Worlds) that “would use steam propulsion to hop across the sort of icy terrains found on Jupiter’s moon Europa and Saturn’s moon Enceladus.”

• “The terrain on Europa is likely highly complex,” said Gareth Meirion-Griffith, JPL roboticist and the lead researcher of the concept. “It could be porous, it might be riddled with crevasses, there might be meters-high penitentes” – long blades of ice known to form at high latitudes on Earth – “that would stop most robots in their tracks. But SPARROW has total terrain agnosticism; it has complete freedom to travel across an otherwise inhospitable terrain.” By using steam to power the robot, SPARROW could thrive in the “low-gravity environment” of Enceladus and Europa, hopping “many miles over landscapes that other robots would have difficulty navigating.”

• Enceladus and Europa both likely have oceans that exist under a layer of ice crust. In 2019, researchers determined Enceladus’ ocean is likely 1 billion years old. In 2018, researchers acknowledged they had found complex organic molecules, the “building blocks” for life on Enceladus.

• The SPARROW concept is dependent upon a lander to serve as a home base, which would “mine ice and melt it”, later heating it to create the steam necessary to power the SPARROW. It’s possible “many SPARROWs could be sent together, swarming around a specific location or splitting up to explore as much alien terrain as possible,” says NASA.
• In June, NASA announced the latest mission in its New Frontiers program known as Dragonfly, to explore Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, which could also potentially host extraterrestrial life. NASA has also confirmed a future mission to Europa.

 

  Gareth Meirion-Griffith

NASA’s plans to explore the ice moons of the Solar System are getting more detail as the space agency is developing a robot that would use steam to power itself in deep space.

In a post to its website, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory notes researchers are developing a soccer-ball sized robot known as SPARROW (Steam Propelled Autonomous Retrieval Robot for Ocean Worlds) that “would use steam propulsion to hop across the sort of icy terrains found on Jupiter’s moon Europa and Saturn’s moon Enceladus.”

“The terrain on Europa is likely highly complex,” said Gareth Meirion-Griffith, JPL roboticist and the lead researcher of the concept, in the statement. “It could be porous, it might be riddled with crevasses, there might be meters-high penitentes” – long blades of ice known to form at high latitudes on Earth – “that would stop most robots in their tracks. But SPARROW has total terrain agnosticism; it has complete freedom to travel across an otherwise inhospitable terrain.”

Both moons have been mentioned as candidates to possibly host life previously, including one study published in December 2019 that suggested they could be “indigenous.”

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Dragonfly, Enceladus, Europa, Gareth Meirion-Griffith, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, New Frontiers program, robot, SPARROW (Steam Propelled Autonomous Retrieval Robot for Ocean Worlds)


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Duke Brickhouse is a former trial lawyer and entertainment attorney who has refocused his life’s work to exposing the truth of our subjugated planet and to help raise humanity’s collective consciousness at this crucial moment in our planet’s history, in order to break out of the dark and negative false reality that is preventing the natural development of our species, to put our planet on a path of love, light and harmony in preparation for our species’ ascension to a fourth density, and to ultimately take our rightful place in the galactic community.

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