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The Sciences

Video: Micro-Submarine Gets First Look at Subglacial Lake Floor

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See more stories and multimedia from Lake Whillans in this special report.

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When researcher Alberto Behar from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., joined an international Antarctic expedition last month on a trek to investigate Subglacial Lake Whillans, he brought with him a unique instrument designed and funded by NASA to help the researchers study one of the last unexplored aquatic environments on Earth.

Called the Micro-Submersible Lake Exploration Device, the instrument was a small robotic sub about the size and shape of a baseball bat.

The imagery and other data from the mini-sub were used to survey the lake floor and help the WISSARD team verify that the rest of their instruments could be safely deployed into the lake.

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