Icy moons are likely our best shot at finding microbes. That's because they have a ready source of heat — in this case, tidal interactions with Saturn — as well as abundant water in the form of oceans and lakes. Cassini's observations from orbit showed us geysers, oceans, and other signs of liquid. Future missions on the drawing board might use submarines or little rovers to take a close-up look at the moons.
Here are some of Cassini's key discoveries.
Enceladus is perhaps the most famous icy moon of Saturn, as Cassini has tracked at least 101 geysers spouting water into space from "tiger stripes" or cracks in the ice. Late in Cassini's mission, in April 2017, researchers announced that Cassini detected hydrogen in Enceladus’s plumes, which suggests that there are hydrothermal vents in the ocean below. These vents are warm spots that, on Earth, are places where creatures tend to congregate as it is a ready-made source of energy and food.