WASHINGTON, D.C. - NASA is expected to make a big announcement about the possibility of alien life on Saturn's moons during a news briefing 2 p.m. EDT on Thursday, April 13, 2017.
One of Saturn's moons that could harbor life is Enceladus where NASA scientists discovered a regional sea that likely has hydrothermal activity is taking place on the ocean floor.
As part of its final mission, NASA's Cassini spacecraft is scheduled to make a close flyby of Enceladus on October 28, 2017. During that flyby, Cassini will make its deepest-ever dive through the Enceladus' plume of icy spray, sampling the chemistry of the extraterrestrial ocean beneath the ice. The spacecraft will pass a mere 30 miles (49 kilometers) above the Enceladus' surface.
NASA scientists are hopeful data from this encounter will provide evidence of how much hydrothermal activity is occurring in the moon's ocean, along with more detailed insights about the ocean's chemistry - both of which relate to the potential habitability of the moon.