Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Send Your Name Aboard A Spacecraft: Last Two Weeks To Make A 'Deep Impact' On A Comet

Date:
January 21, 2004
Source:
National Aeronautics And Space Administration
Summary:
T-minus two weeks and counting till NASA closes their passenger list for a one-way trip to comet Tempel 1. On January 31, NASA's Deep Impact mission will end its campaign to launch the names of space enthusiasts who want to make a deep impact on a comet.

This is an artist's rendition of the flyby spacecraft releasing the impactor, 24 hours before the impact event. Pictured from left to right are comet Tempel 1, the impactor, and the flyby spacecraft. (NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

T-minus two weeks and counting till NASA closes their passenger list for a one-way trip to comet Tempel 1. On January 31, NASA's Deep Impact mission will end its campaign to launch the names of space enthusiasts who want to make a deep impact on a comet.

On July 4, 2005, the Deep Impact spacecraft will impact a copper projectile about the size of a garbage can into the surface of a frozen ball of ice and rock, comet Temple 1, creating a crater about the size of a football stadium. A CD containing the names of those who signed on board for this one-way trip to a celestial snowball will be literally obliterated along with the 370-kilogram (816 pound) copper-tipped impactor.

When the impactor reaches out and touches Temple 1 at about 37,000 kilometers (22,990 miles) per hour, Deep Impact's flyby spacecraft will collect pictures and data. The flyby spacecraft will send its data back to Earth in near real time through the antennas of the Deep Space Network. Simultaneously, professional and amateur astronomers on Earth will observe the ejecta flying from the comet's newly formed crater adding to the data and images collected by the Deep Impact spacecraft and other space telescopes.

"This is an opportunity to become part of an extraordinary space mission," said Dr. Don Yeomans, an astronomer at JPL and a member of the Deep Impact science team. "When the craft is launched in December 2004, yours and the names of your loved-ones can hitch along for the ride and be part of what may be the best space fireworks show in history."

Deep Impact is the first deep-space mission that will really reach out and touch a comet. Mission scientists are confident such an intimate glimpse beneath the surface of a comet, where material and debris from the formation of the solar system remain relatively unchanged, will answer basic questions about the formation of the solar system as well as getting a better look at the nature and composition of these celestial wanderers.

"This campaign will allow people from around the world to become directly involved with the Deep Impact mission and through that, get them thinking about the scientific reasons for the mission," said University of Maryland astronomy professor, Dr. Michael A'Hearn, Deep Impact's principal investigator. "We particularly hope to capture the interest of young students, as they will become the explorers of the next generation."

People may submit their names for this historic one-way mission by visiting NASA's Deep Impact Web site through January 31 at: http://deepimpact.jpl.nasa.gov/

The University of Maryland in College Park is home to A'Hearn, who oversees the scientific investigations. Project manager, Rick Grammier, from JPL, manages and operates the Deep Impact mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington. JPL is managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation in Boulder, Colo. manages the spacecraft development.

Deep Impact was selected in 1999 as a NASA Discovery mission. The goal of the Discovery Program is to launch smaller, low cost capped missions studying new science questions. The main objective is to enhance understanding of the solar system by exploring the planets, their moons, and small bodies, such as comets and asteroids.

Information about the Deep Impact mission is available on the Internet at: http://deepimpact.jpl.nasa.gov/ or http://deepimpact.umd.edu


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Aeronautics And Space Administration. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Aeronautics And Space Administration. "Send Your Name Aboard A Spacecraft: Last Two Weeks To Make A 'Deep Impact' On A Comet." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 January 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/01/040121082032.htm>.
National Aeronautics And Space Administration. (2004, January 21). Send Your Name Aboard A Spacecraft: Last Two Weeks To Make A 'Deep Impact' On A Comet. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 15, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/01/040121082032.htm
National Aeronautics And Space Administration. "Send Your Name Aboard A Spacecraft: Last Two Weeks To Make A 'Deep Impact' On A Comet." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/01/040121082032.htm (accessed September 15, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Monday, September 15, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NASA’s Curiosity Rover Finally Reaches Long-Term Goal

NASA’s Curiosity Rover Finally Reaches Long-Term Goal

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) — After more than two years, NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover reached Mount Sharp, its long-term destination. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
SpaceX's Elon Musk Really Wants To Colonize Mars

SpaceX's Elon Musk Really Wants To Colonize Mars

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) — Elon Musk has been talking about his goal of colonizing Mars for years now, but how much of it does he actually have figured out, and is it possible? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
International Space Station Crew Returns Safely To Earth

International Space Station Crew Returns Safely To Earth

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) — The three-man crew touched down in Kazakhstan Wednesday after more than five months of science experiments in orbit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Solar Storm To Hit This Weekend, Scientists Not Worried

Solar Storm To Hit This Weekend, Scientists Not Worried

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) — Two solar flares which erupted in our direction this week will arrive this weekend. The resulting solar storm will be powerful but not dangerous. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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