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Deep Impact – NASA Nails Comet

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60 seconds before impactIn a stunning display of precision and teamwork, NASA’s Deep Impact spacecraft goes into the history books as the first man-made object to reach out and touch one of the comets that orbit within our solar system.

In the wee hours of July 4th, the piano-sized impactor made two course corrections, snapped some excellent pictures, and then slammed into the tip of Tempel 1 at over 22,000 miles per hour.

The resulting explosion was far greater than anticipated by mission specialists, and provided the fly-by part of the spacecraft with an unprecedented look at the internal composition of this type of comet. The data will be streaming back to earth for days, but it’s already clear that this mission was a “smashing success”.


For more images and details of this intriguing science mission, visit NASA’s Deep Impact web page.

Also posted at VERMONT SPACE

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About Bennett Dawson

  • Woohoo – that kicked ass!

    THanks Bennett:)

  • The most expensive episode of MythBusters ever

  • Bennett

    Yeah Aaman, those costs do mount up when you film a documentary “on site”.

  • H.G. Wells would be proud — unless he was there first.

  • Direct hit on the comet’s shield generator! Looks like George Lucas was right. The shield generator is always the one part that’s vulnerable to incoming fire. Take that out, and the rest is easy, no matter how big the target.

    Great shot, NASA, that was one in a million!

    I hope we’re ready to evacuate when the comet strikes back.

  • Bennett

    Victor – Yeah, and when it does head our way, it’ll be “dragging mines!”

    I actually stayed up until the time of the impact (1:52 AM), only to have both Kit Peak and NASA experience bandwidth issues…

    That rather sucked.

  • All this science stuff is cool and everything, but what I’m really looking forward to is the day we get some astronauts up there to the comets and other objects in near-Earth orbits.

    Arr! There be mighty plunder awaiting us in them dirty snowballs, me hearties! Avast! Ye scurvy planetoid, heave to and prepare to be boarded!

  • Dr. trilok Gohil

    wont ,ore detal of deep impect.
    kindly send me on my postal address.
    PIN 362002

  • Bennett


    I’ll have my secretary get right on that!

    Or, you can go HERE for more information.

    It would probably be quicker.