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Intrepid Explorer

An oceangoing rover gathers unprecedented data

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10:36am, July 25, 2006

The autonomous underwater vehicle, stuffed to its gills with scientific instruments, motors steadily through the frigid, sunless sea. Sensors on board the 6.8-meter-long craft are constantly on alert, testing the water for minute variations in salinity and temperature. As the vehicle cruises beneath a ceiling of ice hundreds of meters thick, its sonar observes above it a rugged topography of ice unlike any previously seen.

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