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"I suspect that religion is a necessary evil in the childhood of our particular species. And that's one of the interesting things about contact with other intelligences: we could see what role, if any, religion plays in their development."
- Arthur C. Clarke

Biological Package Probe  
   

"...the probes steer themselves for an otherwise terrestrial world with a reducing atmosphere...."

"But what do the probes do?"

"They're biological packages. A dozen different strains of algae. The idea is to turn a reducing atmosphere into an oxygen atmosphere, just the way photosynthetic life forms did for Earth, something like fifteen-times-ten-to-the-eighth years ago."

From A World Out of Time, by Larry Niven.
Published by Random House in 1976
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  - Mars Robot Takes Up Stargazing

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