NASA built a crazy rover prototype that can drive on the underside of ice

Watch the rover cling to the underside of a frozen Alaskan lake. One day it may be deployed in the search for life

By Sarah Gray
Published June 24, 2014 10:50PM (UTC)
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NASA JPL Rover (screenshot)

For the first time ever, NASA remotely piloted a rover under a frozen lake. The rover, which in tests clung to the underside of the thick ice of Alaska's Sukok Lake, could potentially probe for life on Jupiter's moon Europa or one of Saturn's liquid-harboring moons, according to National Geographic.

The rover's name is BRUIE (Buoyant Rover for Under-Ice Exploration), and it is also being used to study the water it is being tested in, including temperature and salt content.


Current rovers, like Curiosity, are more suited for Earth-like environments like Mars. But this rover could expand the search for life to other celestial bodies and surfaces. Watch the video below:

h/t National Geographic, Engadget

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email

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