National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
News & Events
Deep Space 1 Mission Status
Deep Space 1 Mission Status
30 Jul 1999
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

PASADENA, CALIF. 91109. TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011

Engineering and science information from NASA's Deep Space 1 was transmitted from the spacecraft to ground controllers today, and the mission team continues to analyze the data.

The spacecraft's infrared camera has returned four sets of valuable data which will help scientists determine the asteroid's composition. Called spectra, a form of data which break light into component colors much like a prism does (usually displayed as graphs), they cover different parts of the asteroid and were taken both before and after closest approach.

In addition to two black-and-white images taken about 70 minutes prior to closest approach, two black-and-white images of limited quality, taken 20 seconds apart at approximately 15 minutes after the encounter, have been returned.

Diagnosis of an apparent target tracking problem continues. If the asteroid were much dimmer than expected or if the camera was much less sensitive than expected, this would explain why the autonomous navigation system did not lock on to allow the camera to point at the asteroid during closest encounter. This possibility is being analyzed.

The spacecraft's xenon ion engine was fired at 9 a.m. Pacific time and will continue thrusting almost continuously for the next three months in preparation for flybys of two comets during a possible extended mission after the September 18, 1999, conclusion of Deep Space 1's primary mission.

Deep Space 1 is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington DC.

News Archive Search  Go!
Show  results per page
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 Writers: Courtney O'Connor and Bill Dunford
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
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 5 Jun 2001