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Potential for space penetrator

UK engineers have tested a projectile technology they believe could be used to explore the Solar System.

The steel penetrator was fired at a 10-tonne cube of ice to simulate the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa.

It hit the block at a speed of 340m/s and decelerated rapidly, but its structure remained intact, as did its interior components.

Alan Smith, the director of the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, UCL, told Jonathan Amos about the history of the technology.

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