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6. When might a Mars drilling mission take place? (1:12 minutes)
Dr. Carol Stoker: "We dont really have a set date for a Mars mission that does drilling. The earliest that such a mission could possibly fly is 2009. And there is a consideration of drilling being included in a Mars mission in 2009. The first time we send a drill to Mars it probably will only drill to shallow depth. So, maybe as much as five feet, or 10 feet something like that. In the umm once weve learned to drill on Mars once we have a good sense of how to do all these both the drilling and the sample handling and the science investigations associated with looking at the samples then we can begin to think about putting deeper drills into Mars that can actually get down to where you think the interesting place is from the point of view of searching for life which is where this is liquid water. And on Mars that could be at depths of anything from, ah, 1,000 feet to maybe 5,000 to 10,000 feet."
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