Underwater Antarctic robot to explore Jupiter’s moon for life

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This past Saturday a New Zealand news team from NewsHub on Channel 3 came out to our sea ice site for Icefin’s third dive of the season, and their story aired tonight! Excerpt below, and hit the link for the rest and video. (Please let us know how the video is, we can’t load it. Update: video is great, but be warned there’s a bit of language toward the end- turns out Kiwi TV is a bit more casual than the US!)

A team of American scientists and engineers in Antarctica are testing a robot they plan to one day send into space in the search for life.

The NASA-funded project is linking up with a New Zealand research team on the Ross Ice Shelf. The Kiwis are drilling through more than 300 metres of ice to study the ocean underneath, a perfect opportunity for the Americans to test their prototype.

Astrobiologist Britney Schmidt and her team from the Georgia Tech in Atlanta have built Icefin, a 3.5-metre-long autonomous vehicle custom-built to dive under ice and reveal what lives in the ocean beneath. It’s equipped with sensors, cameras, sonar and as much scientific technology as they’re able to squeeze on board.

 – Samantha Hayes, NewsHub

6 responses to “Underwater Antarctic robot to explore Jupiter’s moon for life

  1. Hello central az student here, just watched the video and it is full of detailed information about the project and also shows how the robot had some kind of glitch when testing it under 3 meters of ice water and as the lead scientist states its okay sometimes you just have to step back and take a deep breath, Britney Schmidt says, “holy shit it works.” I thought it was incredible coverage and filled with the exact information needed to inform the world about their objective and in only three minutes and seven seconds.’
    Laurie Haralambides


  2. I am a Central AZ student and I just watched the video of the ICEFIN and information about the project! Wow it is so interesting! The ICEFIN is huge! What kind of problems are you having with it so far?


    • Hi Kristine!
      Icefin isn’t that big; in fact, it’s designed to be “person portable” and low-logistics. You should see some of the other vehicles that have been developed for this space – *they* are huge! But it is a complex piece of engineering, so there have been a few unexpected glitches, though nothing we haven’t been able to solve! The important thing is that we’re getting under the ice and learning a ton while we’re down here so that future revisions can be even better!
      Thanks for reading!


  3. Stephen from Central Arizona College here. That we be pretty cool to see a giant squid of like a whole intelligent community which are able to thrive under the ocean. I was not able to watch the video unfortunately (Computer issues) but it sounds like you guys had a great time! Playstation controller brings me back lol


  4. Pingback: Thanksgiving at McMurdo – all roads lead to roam·

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