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One Small Step: From Life on the Seafloor to Life Beyond Earth

A team of WHOI researchers and colleagues use a decision-making robot to explore Kolumbo volcano—an ancient submarine volcano sitting 500 meters below the surface off Greece’s Santorini Island in the Aegean Sea. The expedition was part of a NASA-funded program that will attempt to answer a number of key questions: What can the organisms living in the extremes of this dark and chemical-laden underworld tell us about life on Earth and beyond? Are there signs of geohazards down there that may help predict the next eruption? And to what extent can we hand over the decision-making to ocean robots and let them explore without human control?

Read the full story: Spock Versus the Volcano

Exploring Ocean Worlds

Astrobiology at NASA

Video provided by: Mike Toillion, NASA Astrobiology; Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA; Stamos Birsim, Olyvon; Richard Camilli, WHOI

© Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

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