Cycle ProjectsCycle Projects

Robotic Astrobiology

(Click photo above to visit the project website)

Robotic Astrobiology

The Life in the Atacama project is developing techniques to search for life in extreme environments on Earth and beyond. This field, called robotic astrobiology, seeks evidence of how life may develop in the universe. The search begins on Earth. We are probing the limits of life in the Atacama Desert of Chile, the driest desert on Earth. Organisms that survive in the Atacama are subjected to high levels of ultraviolet radiation and must survive on only tiny amounts of water. Our rover, called Zoe, uses science instruments to detect these organisms and a drill to access the shallow subsoil. Zoe operates autonomously like a robot exploring Mars, communicating with a science team only twice per day.

To learn more, visit the project webpage