Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NASA's Deep Space 1 Succeeds In Close Asteroid Flyby

Date:
July 29, 1999
Source:
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Summary:
NASA's Deep Space 1 experimental spacecraft successfully flew closely above the surface of asteroid 9969 Braille at 9:46 p.m. Pacific time Wednesday, July 28, using a sophisticated new space autopilot system, exceeding 100 percent of the mission's objectives.

NASA's Deep Space 1 experimental spacecraft successfully flew closely above the surface of asteroid 9969 Braille at 9:46 p.m. Pacific time Wednesday, July 28 (04:46 Universal Time July 29), using a sophisticated new space autopilot system, exceeding 100 percent of the mission's objectives.

Related Articles


An exultant operations team looked on as preliminary data returned to the Deep Space 1 operations control area at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, indicating that the AutoNav autopilot system skillfully flew the spacecraft to a face-to-face closeup with asteroid Braille.

"This is a dramatic finale to an amazingly successful mission," said Dr. Marc Rayman, chief mission engineer and deputy mission manager. "With AutoNav's successful piloting of the spacecraft, we've completed the testing and validation of the 12 new technologies onboard and possibly acquired important science data, including photos."

Data from the spacecraft will be analyzed in coming days to determine the actual flyby distance, which at about 15 kilometers (less than 10 miles), was by far the closest flyby of an asteroid ever attempted.

Ten minutes after the flyby, when the spacecraft signals reached Earth after a 10-minute journey, the team burst into spontaneous applause at the news that the spacecraft was turning back to face the asteroid. The turn was indicated by a marked Doppler shift, a clear early indicator of a successful encounter. Like a siren whose pitch changes after passing by, the Doppler shift indicates movement past an object.

Launched Oct. 24, 1998, Deep Space 1 is the first mission under NASA's New Millennium Program, which tests new technologies for future space and Earth-observing missions. The technologies that have been tested on Deep Space 1 will help make future science spacecraft smaller, less expensive, more autonomous and capable of more independent decision-making so that they rely less on tracking and intervention by ground controllers.

Of the 12 new technologies on board, all but the spacecraft's autonomous navigation system had been completely tested since launch. With the asteroid encounter, AutoNav finished its last five percent of testing.

Making the flyby all the more memorable -- and serving as a testimonial to the team's quick ability to think on its feet -- was the fact that the spacecraft experienced a "safing" event earlier in the day, starting at about 5 a.m. PDT on July 28 and ending at about 11 a.m. PDT. A small software glitch, now fully diagnosed, was detected by Deep Space 1's fault-detection software, which triggered a protective program that causes several events: the spacecraft halts non-critical activity, orients its solar panels toward the Sun, points light and heat- sensitive instruments away from the Sun and reverts to its low- gain antenna while awaiting new commands.

"This has been by far the most challenging, dramatic and stressful day on the project," said Rayman. "The last 16 hours before the flyby were really, really exciting. We had the safing event, we recovered from it and we managed to squeeze in a trajectory correction maneuver to update Deep Space 1's flight path."

Science results will be downlinked in a series of telemetry sessions over the next several days. During the flyby, a spectrometer and imaging instrument took black-and-white photographs and images taken in infrared light, while a second instrument observed the three-dimensional distribution of ions and electrons, or plasma, in the area.

A science update covering science results is scheduled to take place at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., on Tuesday, August 3, at 10 a.m. PDT. It will be broadcast live on NASA TV.

A Deep Space 1 asteroid flyby press kit, along with mission status reports from launch to the present, is available at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/ds1news. A live videocam view of the Deep Space 1 mission control area is available at go to http://eis.jpl.nasa.gov/~mbareh/MSA.html.

Deep Space 1 is budgeted at $152 million, including design, development, launch and operations. The mission is managed for NASA's Office of Space Science by JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "NASA's Deep Space 1 Succeeds In Close Asteroid Flyby." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 July 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/07/990729075256.htm>.
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (1999, July 29). NASA's Deep Space 1 Succeeds In Close Asteroid Flyby. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/07/990729075256.htm
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "NASA's Deep Space 1 Succeeds In Close Asteroid Flyby." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/07/990729075256.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Soyuz Spacecraft Docks With International Space Station: NASA

Soyuz Spacecraft Docks With International Space Station: NASA

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying Italy's first female astronaut safely docks with the International Space Station, according to NASA. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Multi-National Crew Safely Docks at Space Station

Multi-National Crew Safely Docks at Space Station

Reuters - US Online Video (Nov. 24, 2014) A Russian Soyuz rocket delivers a multi-national trio to the International Space Station. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Soyuz Docks With Int'l Space Station

Raw: Soyuz Docks With Int'l Space Station

AP (Nov. 23, 2014) A Russian capsule carrying three astronauts from Russia, the United States and Italy has arrived at the International Space Station. (Nov. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Crew Blasts Off for Int'l Space Station

Raw: Crew Blasts Off for Int'l Space Station

AP (Nov. 23, 2014) A Russian capsule carrying three astronauts from Russia, the United States and Italy has blasted off for the International Space Station. (Nov. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins