For years, sci­ent­ists have as­sumed that there are oceans of wa­ter be­neath the ice cov­ers on the moons En­ce­ladus and Europa. Even in outer space, the pres­ence of wa­ter can sug­gest the pos­sib­il­ity of life, even when it is loc­ated be­neath an ice layer. The in­vest­ig­a­tion of such wa­ter bod­ies ly­ing kilo­met­ers be­low an ice sheet on the Earth, however, is an im­mense chal­lenge, and even more so in outer space. How can high-tech­no­logy tools pen­et­rate the thick ice crust, and how can the ex­plor­a­tion of the un­der­ly­ing ocean be car­ried out un­der the ex­treme en­vir­on­mental con­di­tions that ex­ist there? What kinds of sci­entific sensors are ne­ces­sary in the search for signs of life there? How can samples be re­trieved? How can all this be achieved without con­tam­in­at­ing an eco­sys­tem as yet un­known?

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