NASA Cryobot Robot Jupiter Europa Saturn Enceladus
NASA’s cryobot, an eel-like robot, is set to search for life on Jupiter’s Europa and Saturn’s Enceladus moons. The self-contained, cylindrical probe will utilize nuclear power to heat and melt the icy crust beneath it.



Engineers are exploring various nuclear power systems that could suit a cryobot system including the familiar Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) that have powered many deep-space missions as well as fission reactors. Since the surface of Europa and Enceladus both contain impurities such as dust as well as salt, a combination of “water jetting” and mechanical cutting will be required to clear the debris before drilling.

LEGO Technic NASA Mars Rover Perseverance 42158 Advanced Building Kit for Kids Ages 10+, NASA Toy with...

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A cryobot mission requires a robust and redundant communication link through the ice shell to enable the lander to relay data to an orbiting relay asset or directly to Earth. Fiber optic cables are the industry standard for communicating with terrestrial melt probes and deep-sea vehicles, but require careful validation for deployment through ice shells, which are active,” said NASA.

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