National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
Facebook Twitter YouTube Facebook Twitter YouTube Flickr iTunes
Follow Us
August 2003
Fact Sheet  |  Deep News  |  Biographies  |  What Did We Hope to See?  |  Timeline 
Quick Facts  |  Mission Update  |  How Deep Impact Got Its Name 

Mission - Mission Update

PI Update - August 2003

The instrument platform has been fully integrated with the flyby spacecraft and the full electrical functionality has been verified. This means that we are now focused on completing the spacecraft for handover to the project's flight system test team, an event that is expected later this month. Further testing of the instruments will occur as part of the testing of the entire flight system.

A major achievement was to carry out a complete, end-to-end test of the file transfer protocol, an internet-like protocol which will be flown for the first time by Deep Impact. Previous missions have communicated with the ground using "packets" of data, typically all of a fixed size, with a "data file", such as an image, being built up from many separate packets as they are received at the ground station and sometimes involving sorting out data to several different files from a single packet. Our test involved sending a complete file from the ground support equipment at JPL, through a secure communications line to the spacecraft at BATC, processing through the spacecraft computer, and sending the file back to JPL. Although this test could not involve the Deep Space Network, since the spacecraft is still on the ground, it gives us great confidence that this new telemetry mode will work well for us. It also gives us optimism about running our test program "remotely", i.e. as we will fly the mission, with the tests being conducted from JPL in California while the spacecraft is at BATC in Colorado.

Mike A'Hearn, University of Maryland

Mission Update Archive

Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writer: Autumn Burdick
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> USA.gov
> ExpectMore.gov
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 28 Jun 2010