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The World

An unmanned Soviet research probe went into orbit around Mars after a six-month, 111-million-mile voyage from Earth, the Soviet news agency Tass reported. Phobos II was launched July 12 in an ambitious program to unlock mysteries of the Red Planet and its largest moon, Phobos. The probe is designed to record daily and seasonal temperature changes on Mars, make a temperature map of the surface and identify areas where the soil is permanently frozen, Tass said. Data will also be collected on the planet’s mineral makeup and atmosphere. Soviet officials say the mission will help them get ready to send a manned craft to Mars early in the 21st Century.


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