Life underwater could offer insight into life in space
But unlike other vents, Lo'ihi isn’t quite as hot which makes it closer to what scientists expect to someday explore in space. Being a space agency, NASA doesn’t have its own underwater equipment ready to go, so instead, it is collaborating with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Remote operated vehicles (ROVs) will be launched off the main ship and sent down to Lo'ihi to collect rock and bacteria samples. "It's extremely rich in diversity," said Craig Moyer, a volcano microbiologist at Western Washington University who has been studying Lo'ihi for over two decades.