The good news of NASA’s clever slithering robot set to uncover Saturn’s mysteries (by Denis, 13, Jill Dando News)

By Denis, 13, Jill Dando News

If you have ever wanted to know more about the mysterious planet Saturn, help is on the way.

In a groundbreaking move, NASA is doing tests on an ultra clever slithering robot designed to explore the treacherous terrains of Saturn’s icy moon, Enceladus.

The robot called EELS (Exobiology Extant Life Surveyor), is a 13-foot-long (4-metre) machine.

It aims to investigate tunnels, glaciers, and snowdrifts in search of potential extraterrestrial life.

Enceladus, known for its icy surface, holds the tantalising possibility of harbouring a subsurface ocean of liquid water—a prime location within our solar system for the existence of alien life.

Unlike previous robotic rovers primarily designed for traversing deserts like the Moon and Mars, EELS has been crafted to tackle the unique obstacles posed by Enceladus.


The autonomous robot is currently undergoing rigorous testing in various environments, including undulating sand, ice, steep cliffs, craters, underground lava tubes, and narrow spaces within glaciers.

With 10 segments annd exterior panels shaped like an uneven screw, EELS can slither and traverse the surface effectively.

One of the key features of EELS is its ability to make its own decisions regarding navigation.

Given the significant communication delays with Earth, which could take multiple days, the robot must possess the capacity to analyse its surroundings and make informed choices on its own.


Be patient though – it will take approximately 12 years for a lander to deliver EELS to the surface of Enceladus.

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