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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    NASA Robot to Explore 'Bottomless' Pit

    NASA Robot to Explore 'Bottomless' Pit

    SPACE.com

    A robotic yellow submarine will journey this week to the world's deepest sinkhole, which already has taken the life of one diver who sought to reach its bottom and discover the life that might exist there. Others have tried to reach the end of this seemingly bottomless pit in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, known to be at least 925 feet deep, but no one has ever succeeded.

    The self-automated "DEPTHX" (Deep Phreatic Thermal Explorer) will search the depths of the El Zacaton cenote, or geothermal sinkhole, for life and also study its dimensions and look for the vents that feed it. NASA, which funded the robotic explorer, views the mission as a test-run for a potential journey to Europa, a moon of Jupiter thought to contain liquid water beneath miles of ice--and possibly complex forms of life. New technologies that could help explore its ocean will be put to the test during the robot's descent.

    "We'll spend the first two days checking out DEPTHX's sensors, updating its software and performing a test dive to 250 meters [820 feet] to check its pressure housings," said David Wettergreen, who helped create the 8-foot-long submarine. Once the vessel passes it final exams, Wettergreen and his team will have six days to probe the sinkhole's watery depths. "It's an ambitious program," Wettergreen said, "but the vehicle performed well in two earlier field tests at the La Pilita cenote," another Mexican sinkhole.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/space/200705...ebottomlesspit

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzm1 View Post
    NASA Robot to Explore 'Bottomless' Pit

    SPACE.com

    A robotic yellow submarine will journey this week to the world's deepest sinkhole, which already has taken the life of one diver who sought to reach its bottom and discover the life that might exist there. Others have tried to reach the end of this seemingly bottomless pit in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, known to be at least 925 feet deep, but no one has ever succeeded.

    The self-automated "DEPTHX" (Deep Phreatic Thermal Explorer) will search the depths of the El Zacaton cenote, or geothermal sinkhole, for life and also study its dimensions and look for the vents that feed it. NASA, which funded the robotic explorer, views the mission as a test-run for a potential journey to Europa, a moon of Jupiter thought to contain liquid water beneath miles of ice--and possibly complex forms of life. New technologies that could help explore its ocean will be put to the test during the robot's descent.

    "We'll spend the first two days checking out DEPTHX's sensors, updating its software and performing a test dive to 250 meters [820 feet] to check its pressure housings," said David Wettergreen, who helped create the 8-foot-long submarine. Once the vessel passes it final exams, Wettergreen and his team will have six days to probe the sinkhole's watery depths. "It's an ambitious program," Wettergreen said, "but the vehicle performed well in two earlier field tests at the La Pilita cenote," another Mexican sinkhole.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/space/200705...ebottomlesspit



    Im curious to see what other life forms exist that we arent aware of, thanks for posting

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    3,374
    I saw the Discovery program on Europa--Its the only moon in the Solar System that has water--but the ocean is covered by ice 5 to ten miles thick--They've developed a heat probe that can hopefully make it thru Europa's ice--Scientists,some of them,believe that life may actually exist deep down in that ocean despite the super cold surface termperature of minus 250 degrees Farenheit

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Southwestern Maine is home but I'm not there nearly often enough
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzm1 View Post
    "DEPTHX"
    How do you pronounce that?



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