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
Deep Impact in the News
Press Kits  |  Media Group  |  Deep Impact in the News 

Press - Deep Impact in the News

Deep Impact Mission Status Report
13 May 2005
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

D.C. Agle? (818) 393-9011 Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Dolores Beasley/Erica Hupp (202) 358-1753/1237 NASA Headquarters, Washington NEWS RELEASE: 2005-074?????????????????????? May 13, 2005 ????????????????? DEEP IMPACT MISSION STATUS REPORT Fifty-nine days before going head-to-head with comet Tempel 1, NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft successfully executed the second trajectory correction maneuver of the mission. The burn further refined the spacecraft's trajectory, or flight path, and also moved forward the expected time of the Independence Day comet encounter so impact would be visible by ground- and space- based observatories. The 95-second burn ? the longest remaining firing of the spacecraft's motors prior to comet encounter -- was executed on May 4. It changed Deep Impact's speed by 18.2 kilometers per hour (11.3 miles per hour). "Spacecraft performance has been excellent, and this burn was no different," said Rick Grammier, Deep Impact project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "It was a textbook maneuver that placed us right on the money." Right on the money is where Deep Impact has to be to place a 1-meter- long (39-inch) impactor spacecraft in the path of a comet about as big as the island of Manhattan that is bearing down on it at 37,100 kilometers per hour (6.3 miles per second). At the same time, from a very comet-intimate distance of 500 kilometers (310 miles), a flyby spacecraft will be monitoring the event. This all occurs in the wee hours of July 4 -- at 1:52 am Eastern time (July 3, 10:52 p.m. Pacific time) -- at a distance of 133.6-million kilometers (83- million miles) from Earth. "With this maneuver our friends working the Hubble Space Telescope are assured a ringside seat," said Deep Impact Principal Investigator Dr. Michael A'Hearn of the University of Maryland, College Park. "Their observations, along with space telescopes Chandra and Spitzer and numerous ground-based observatories, will provide us with the most scientific bang for our buck with Deep Impact." Deep Impact is comprised of two parts, a "flyby" spacecraft and a smaller "impactor. "The impactor will be released into the comet's path before a planned high-speed collision on July 4. The crater produced by the impact could range in size from the width of a large house up to the size of a football stadium, and from 2 to 14 stories deep. Ice and dust debris will be ejected from the crater, revealing the material beneath. The Deep Impact spacecraft has four data collectors to observe the effects of the collision. A camera and infrared spectrometer, which comprise the High Resolution Instrument, are carried on the flyby spacecraft, along with a Medium Resolution Instrument. A duplicate of the Medium Resolution Instrument on the impactor will record the vehicle's final moments before it is run over by comet Tempel 1 at a speed of about 37,100 kilometers per hour (23,000 miles per hour). The overall Deep Impact mission management for this Discovery class program is conducted by the University of Maryland in College Park, Md. Deep Impact project management is handled by JPL. The spacecraft was built for NASA by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation, Boulder, Colo. For more information about Deep Impact on the Internet, visit [[LINK||http://www.nasa.gov/deepimpact||http://www.nasa.gov/deepimpact ]] .For more information about NASA on the Internet, visit [[LINK||http://www.nasa.gov/||http://www.nasa.gov ]] .

More News Articles

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