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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