ALIEN-HUNTING scientists have admitted they hope to explore deep Martian cave systems using “space drones”. Early tests of the drone technology – which would map underground caverns in the search for alien life – have already taken place in Icelandic lava tubes. SETI – an institute aimed at tracking down extraterrestrial life – managed to successfully map a cave using a Nasa-backed drone with Lidar technology. This involves sending out light waves and tracking reflections to map places too difficult for humans to explore. A team from SETI managed to successfully map the Lofthellir Lava Tube Ice Cave in Iceland, and said the mission could be reproduced on Mars. “We went to Iceland to study a lava tube with massive amounts of ice inside it to understand better both the potential hazards and opportunities presented by the many lava caves we hope to explore on the Moon and Mars,” said Pascal Lee, a SETI Institute planetary scientist. “One promising way to explore them is with drones,” Lee added. Scientists have long known that the Moon and Mars have cave openings on the surface. These caves are interesting because they’ve been sheltered from harsh surface conditions – like radiation, wild temperature… Read full this story
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