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Melting ice cores on frozen worlds could speed up the search for alien life

Scientists are always finding new ways to search for life on other worlds, whether directly with chemical analysis or indirectly with satellite imagery. Such examples include the various moon and Mars landers and rovers, along with ongoing science being conducted from planetary orbiters. But what if we were able to search for life and better understand the history of these mysterious and intriguing worlds using ice deposits?

One such proposed technology is the Melter-Sublimator for Ice Science (MSIS), which as its name implies, examines ice cores for chemical, biological, and elemental analyses in hopes of not only providing a more detailed record of planetary bodies such as the moon, Mars, Europa, Enceladus, but could also allow us to better understand supernovas and space weather through the collection of cosmogenic nuclides, rare isotopes created by cosmic rays.

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