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Project Deepdive was an unmanned mission that was sent to explore Enceladus in 2132.

Overview

Project Deepdive (sometimes known as Operation Deepdive) consisted of five separate vehicles.

Enceladus express: an unmanned craft that went on a two week trek from Earth to Saturn. After arriving it went into orbit to study the icy moon from above as well as keep contact with the two landers.

Landers 1 and 2: two small craft that landed in different parts of Enceladus that each deployed automated submarine probes.

Enceladus Subsurface Ocean Explorer (ESOE): two automated submarine probes each deployed by the two landers. ESOE 1 searched for life whereas ESOE 2 explored the more dangerous parts of Enceladus to examine tectonic and volcanic activity.

Success

ESOE 1 successfully discovered life when it came upon a species of eel like creatures living in the calmer waters. When footage of these lifeforms was sent back to scientists on Earth, ESOE 1 was commanded to search for more life within this alien ocean. Gradually, more and more was found and the mission was declared a total success.

Trivia

The mission lasted for two years until its conclusion in 2134 when the Enceladus Express flew towards Saturn and burn up in its atmosphere.

  • ESOE 1 shutdown after the mission's conclusion.
  • ESOE 2 however, was destroyed a year earlier by an extremely powerful eruption.

A follow up mission called Project Deepdive 2 was planned and would have included an ESOE 3, 4 and 5, but it was unfortunately cancelled.

  • Enceladus Surveyor (the planned orbital craft of the mission) would have been larger and stronger than Enceladus Express.
  • ESOE 3 would have observed tectonic and volcanic activity as its predessor was destroyed before it could study further. ESOE 3 would also have been built stronger to withstand the heat and pressure.
  • ESOE 4 would have studied more in depth about the native lifeforms.
  • It is unknown what ESOE 5 would have been used for but it would possibly have been used as a companion for ESOE 4.
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