Ocean And Space Exploration Blend – Diving Deep To Prepare Search For Extraterrestrial Life

Source: Phys.org/University of Rhode Island

Photo: Tim Marshall/Unsplash

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Scientists with a NASA-led expedition are operating from the Inner Space Center at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography as colleagues explore the deep Pacific Ocean to prepare to search for life in deep space.

The SUBSEA (Systematic Underwater Biogeochemical Science and Exploration Analog) research program is a partnership among NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the Ocean Exploration Trust and various academic centers that blend ocean and  to better understand if the watery worlds found on moons and planets in our solar system offer conditions that could support microbial life.

Last year, the SUBSEA shipboard team used remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) deployed from the Ocean Exploration Trust’s E/V Nautilus to explore Lō’ihi Seamount, an underwater volcano off the southeastern coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. The type of hydrothermal venting at the Lō’ihi Seamount is a good representation of conditions scientists believe exist on certain moons in the outer solar system.

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Photo: Tim Marshall/Unsplash

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