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This little NASA robot is exploring active volcanoes

This little NASA robot is exploring active volcanoes
Songquan Deng / Shutterstock.com

If you're at all interested in science, as I am, you have to click this interesting article. NASA just made a little robot that can actually go into an active volcano and explore fissures. We're already learning a lot from it.

Now, I know what you're thinking ...  "what's the point of these bots?"

“We have a good picture of what happens once we see an eruption start at the surface, but all our problems are subsurface,” Bruce Houghton, the Hawaiian state volcanologist at the University of Hawaii, told The Huffington Post. “We lack technology.”

In other words, geologists don't currently have an accurate model of a volcano’s plumbing system. Knowing that information, Houghton said, “would help us forecast the form and the shape of the next eruption.”

These VolcanoBots are remote controlled, have temperature sensors, a "short-range distance sensor that helps it brake" and the wheels gain traction with "microspines." They also have a 3-D camera.

Even better, not only can these bots tell us more about the volcanoes on Earth, NASA is optimistic that they can also gather lots of useful data about volcanoes on other planets.

In the last few years, NASA spacecraft have sent back incredible pictures of caves, fissures and what look like volcanic vents on Mars and the moon. We don't have the technology yet to explore them, but ... we're trying to bridge that gap using volcanoes here on Earth for practice. We're learning about how volcanoes erupt here on Earth, too, and that has a lot of benefits in its own right."

Want to know more? Click here to read the story from the Huffington Post. 

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