NASA Explores Earth’s Oceans to Help Understand the Universe

NASA Explores Earth’s Oceans to Help Understand the Universe
NASA Explores Earth’s Oceans to Help Understand the Universe
The US space agency is exploring the depths of the oceans on Earth to help understand the universe more.

According to a report published by the British Broadcasting Corporation “BBC”, NASA is looking for evidence of what the oceans could look like on other planets, pushing the boundaries of science and technology in one of the harshest environments on our planet, “where it is considered a mission full of risks, especially the risk of explosion.” The interior should not be underestimated at all due to the enormous pressure in these abyssal depths.”

There is hope that the underwater discoveries will help solve some of the mysteries of outer space, while also testing some of the equipment and experiments needed for missions elsewhere in the solar system.

Read also: NASA begins enabling the James Webb Telescope to “observe the universe”

The depths of Earth’s oceans resemble some of the conditions NASA expects to find on other worlds in our solar system, and oceans can even provide clues about where scientists should look for life on other planets.

NASA scientists, in partnership with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, are trying to explore the limits of life on Earth, and even the language that scientists use on their expeditions to this region shares many of the terms used in the space exploration process.

Marine biologists in recent years have sent several “landers” equipped with sensors and cameras to land on the floor of the Hadal (the deepest region on Earth) and take some measurements.

Using visual navigation technology similar to Perseverance’s Mars rover, Orpheus uses highly sensitive cameras to identify rock formations, shells and other objects on the ocean floor to create dotted 3-D maps of some clearly distinguishable features.

For a long time, marine biologists thought life in the Hadal region was impossible, but when deep-sea submarines began venturing into the area in the first half of the 20th century, it became clear that some marine creatures could live there.

The discovery of organisms that can not only survive but thrive in such a harsh environment raises important questions for biologists looking beyond the worlds of our own planet – perhaps also found in other ocean worlds.

Beneath the icy surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa, there is an ocean of salt water believed to be between 40 and 100 miles (60 to 150 kilometers) deep and contain twice as much water as all of Earth’s oceans combined. The sun is under the thick ice cap of Europa, in which cracks and fractures intersect. Under the ice crust, the pressure is similar to that of the Hadal region.

“The ocean floor represents a wonderful test for us to develop the technology we need to achieve a successful mission in one of these ocean worlds,” said engineer from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Russell Smith, who was part of the team that built the Orpheus spacecraft.

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