In recent times the search for extraterrestrial life, or conditions that might once have supported it, has focused largely on Mars. But as of early this month, NASA’s exploratory gaze will extend to a series of icy worlds in the farther reaches of the Solar System that may not only harbor life, but whose characteristics could help explain how life developed on Earth. In what NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has dubbed “the year of the icy world,” the agency will see ...

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