Scientists are designing a tiny submarine that is slightly larger than two soda cans, which could be one of the first visitors to Jupiter’s icy moon Europa. The concept began at NASAJPL and Uppsala University in Sweden. The tiny submarine could help reduce mission costs, and would only require a small borehole in order to explore what lies beneath Europa‚Äôs icy shell. The submarine, named Deeper Access, Deeper Understanding (DADU), could also be used to explore watery environments on Earth, such as sub-ice lakes in Antarctica.

“What I think is exciting with this is to be able to explore previously inaccessible areas, to explore where no “man” has explored before,” said Jonas Jonsson, an engineer now with Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies Inc. at NASA Ames Research Center. Jonsson was an original member of the Swedish team and refined the submersible concept by building and testing parts of it for his Ph.D. thesis.