We all hope that there's more life out there in the stars, hoping we're not alone in the universe. If aliens do exist, it seems that NASA wants to meet them sooner rather than later, and they'll find them with the use of alien-hunting drones.
Considering how many planets are inhospitable for humans, using robots to look for these aliens does make more sense. It is concerning that NASA calls them alien-hunting drones instead of alien-finding drones, but they do come in peace! We think...
How do these drones “hunt” aliens?
NASA's alien-hunting drones are inspired by previous space missions. When exploring planets like Jupiter’s moon Europa or Saturn’s moon Enceladus proved to be difficult endeavors, the space agency created advanced drones to explore instead of humans or rover .
With this issue, NASA came up with the Sensing With Independent Micro-Swimmers (SWIM) concept. These drones were a fantastic way to overcome these obstacles, and they're the basis for these new alien-hunting alternatives.
NASA can release a horde of drones to sink through the icy shell of planets before a mechanism releases them into that planet’s ocean. The hope is to find any sign of life. Since life on evolved from the sea, it makemakes sense alien oceans as well. Of course, having a swarm of drones do this also makes gathering multiple sources of data far easier.
In order to find aliens and learn more about distant planets, each of these robots will come with a propulsion system, onboard computer, and ultrasound communications system. They also have sensors that allow them to measure temperature, salinity, acidity, pressure, and biomarkers.
Alien hunting and learning more about planets
Aliens might be the priority but it seems that NASA has other intentions, as they hope that the alien-hunting drones are also able to find more planets that humans can go to. Considering the current state of Earth and how more spaceflight plans could actually damage our atmosphere, we can’t exactly blame them for wanting to find a new planet to live in.
“Where can we take miniturised robotics and apply them in interesting new ways for exploring our solar system?” Ethan Schaler, a robotics mechanical engineer at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory said to Independent. “With a swarm of small swimming robots, we are able to explore a much larger volume of ocean water and improve our measurements by having multiple robots collecting data in the same area.”
Can we really find new life and a new place to live in? That will probably take a lot of years but considering how the planet might not be around forever, which is a scary thought, this is a risk NASA is willing to take.