NASA partners with deep-ocean explorers to develop tech for Europa mission

A new deep-sea exploration technology that could one day search for life in subsurface oceans on the moons of Jupiter and Saturn will be put to test during a two-week demonstration expedition aboard a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) ship.

The new underwater vehicle, called Orpheus, relies on autonomous navigation software developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California for the Mars Perseverance rover and the Ingenuity helicopter. The primary task for the mini-submarine, which was built by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts, will be to advance humanity’s understanding of the deepest regions of the oceans, the so-called hadal zone.

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