In one of its most ambitious projects in deep space, a team of NASA researchers are proposing to send robots at the centre of icy moons to explore the subsurface ocean for presence of life. The two possible candidates are: the icy moons of gas giants Jupiter and Saturn which harbour sub-surface oceans perfect for hosting life. According to a recent study, Jupiter’s moon Europa is creating a strong gravitational pull which is creating more heat on the moon’s ice-sheet that is enough to support a sub-surface ocean. But it is Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus – 500 km in diameter and 1.272 billion km away from the Earth – that serves as a leading candidate for extra-terrestrial life. In the year 2016, one of most promising proposals that NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Programme (NIAC) has received is from the researchers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at Pasadena, California – proposing robots to explore the icy moons. Also Read - CBSE & ICSE Board Exams 2021: Top 7 Things to do For Preparation |Watch Video

The Icy-Moon Cryovolcano Explorer (ICE) project aims to land on these moons and send a robotic explorer down the ice volcano to deploy a submersible to explore the ocean. With a thick icy crust, Europa may be tough for a drilling robot to reach the subsurface ocean so the researchers have now turned their eyes on Enceladus. The data from NASA’s Cassini probe has strongly indicated that the cryovolcanic plumes of Enceladus probably originate in a biomolecule-friendly oceanic environment. Enceladus, which probably has an ocean underlying its icy surface, has somehow managed to sprout multiple fissures along its south pole. (Also Read: NASA to send another mission to Mars in May 2018) Also Read - CBSE Board Exam 2021: Tips to Cope Up With Stress For Children And Parents | Watch Video

A surface-to-subsurface robotic system, the ICE will land on the surface of an icy moon, traverse to a cryovolcano, descend into its opening, perform in-situ science in the vent or crevasse and ultimately deploy underwater vehicles to explore a subsurface ocean. Also Read - Telangana Schools to Reopen for Classes 6 and 8 After Nearly 11 Months

Source: IANS