Engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory mimicked martian landscapes by building the “Mars Yard;” complete with red rock obstacle courses meant to challenge a rover in development intended for a one way ticket to mars of Mars. But what about exploring things deep below the surface of a planet or moon? Take Europa; Jupiter’s icy moon thought to contain vast oceans of water frozen under miles of ice.
Enter BRUIE (Buoyant Rover for Under-Ice Exploration). BRUIE is currently being tested in the Alaskan wilderness, collecting primary scientific data on salinity and temperature, explicable to our own blue planet. If testing is successful, then the first steps towards a launch to Europa could begin in a few decades. However until then, check out the video below to see BRUIE in action.