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Ocean-Exploring Robots

Astronomists have long been eager to explore the many ocean worlds in our solar system, but creating a robot that can withstand the intense geography has been a challenge. Scientists are hard at work designing a robot to study Jupiter’s icy, ocean-filled moon called Europa. One potential concept is called SPARROW, which is a robot ball that is powered by steam from melting ice. Instruments inside SPARROW could collect and analyze water on Europa. Another idea, called BRUIE, is a wheeled robot that would roll upside down along ice. BRUIE would collect data and images while anchoring itself against the ice. The SWIM concept entails a variety of cell phone sized swimming robots that would melt through the ice crust of the moon. Which of these uber-creative ideas do you hope comes to fruition?

Image via NASA

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