NASA experts have approved the continuation of work on the SWIM project, according to which a swarm of miniature floating robots with sensory masses will be sent to the sub-glacial ocean of Jupiter by Europe. But in the second phase, the project team will develop microbots, algorithms for their interaction. For these purposes, NASA will provide 600 thousand dollars for two years.
The SWIM (Sensing With Independent Micro-Swimmers) project was selected in 2021 as one of the promising projects for the coming decades. The European ocean has long fascinated scientists with its potential to be the birthplace of extraterrestrial biological life. The ice of Europe almost certainly hides many kilometers of liquid water, the temperature of which at great depths promises to be comfortable for the development of microbiological “even more complex life”.
The SWIM project involves lowering the container with the microbes through the ice (it must be melted or dug) into the water. A small container with a diameter of 25 cm and a length of 10 cm can accommodate up to 40 microbes, about 12 cm long. The microbots will have sensors looking for temperature, pressure, salinity և biomarkers. The data between the microbots will be transmitted by ultrasound. Recently, the SWIM project successfully completed the first phase of the work և got the right to pass to the second phase.
The SWIM project is not the only one aimed at exploring Europe. In the spring of this year, NASA’s “Europa Clipper” probe began searching for life in Europe, which should be launched in 2024. Even earlier this year, the JUICE (Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer) probe was to fly to Europe ակներ Jupiter satellites. The subject chosen by the scientists is so interesting to study that the device is useless.