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" I try to sit down at the typewriter four times a day, even if it's only five minutes, and write three sentences. And if I feel like going on, or if something turns me on I'll just keep writing till I'm written out."
- Roger Zelazny

Sounding Projectile  
  Provides a way to tell whether there’s a soldid surface on a cloudy planet.  

In the 1930's, little was known (or correctly inferred) about the planets. Obviously, Saturn is intensely cloudy. But can you find a solid surface?

His hands clutched a switch. A slight movement shot a sounding projectile from a point on the undersurface of his craft. It darted down, and in a few seconds burst into a clouded patch of incandescence. That meant that it had struck something firm enough to discharge its percussion cap.
Technovelgy from Mad Robot, by Raymond Z. Gallun.
Published by Astounding Science Fiction in 1936
Additional resources -

See the article on Impactor Determines Composition from The Mechanical Monarch (1958) by E.C. Tubb.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Mad Robot
  More Ideas and Technology by Raymond Z. Gallun
  Tech news articles related to Mad Robot
  Tech news articles related to works by Raymond Z. Gallun

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