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Deep Space 2

In December 1999, two basketball-sized aeroshells will crash onto the Martian surface at a velocity of about 200 meters per second. Each aeroshell will shatter on impact, releasing a miniature two-piece science probe that will punch into the soil to a depth of up to 2 meters. The microprobes' primary science goal: to determine if water ice is present in the Martian subsurface - an important clue in the puzzle of whether life exists, or ever existed, on Mars. The tiny science stations will also measure temperature and monitor local Martian weather.



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