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EPOXI: Deep Impact Flyby Spacecraft Extended Mission

Project Overview

Artist concept of the Deep Impact/Epoxi/Dixi spacecraft
Salient Features
  • Mission of Opportunity to use the Deep Impact Flyby spacecraft for two science investigations
  • Principal Investigator: Dr. Michael A'Hearn (UofM)
  • Deputy PI: Dr. Drake Deming (GSFC)
  • Implementing Organizations: Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Ball Aerospace and Technology (BATC)
  • Instruments: High Resolution Imager - Visible & IR (BATC), Medium Resolution Imager (BATC)
  • Cost: $43M
  • Milestones: July 10, 2007 - Start of extended mission
    • June 19, 2008 - TCM to adjust trajectory to Harltey-2
    • August 31, 2008 - End of EPOCh observations
    • November 4, 2010 - Encounter with comet Hartley-2
    • September 30, 2011 - End of Mission
Research by: Dr. Michael A'Hearn, Principal Investigator, University of Maryland; Dr. Drake Deming, Deputy Principal Investigator, GSFC; Tim Larson, Manager, EPOXI and Stardust NExT Projects

Science

  • EPOCh
    • Extrasolar Planet Observation and Characterization is observing stars with known transiting giant planets to characterize those planets and search for others.
  • DIXI
    • Deep Impact Extended Investigation - continues the original Deep Impact theme of studying comets by flying past comet Hartley-2. Compare Hartley-2 with comets observed by other spacecraft missions in order to help determine which cometary features are primordial and which are the result of subsequent evolutionary processes.

Implications

DIXI, the Deep Impact Extended Investigation, continues the original Deep Impact theme of studying comets by flying past comet Hartley 2. A comparison of Hartley 2 with comets observed by other spacecraft missions in order to help determine which cometary features are primordial and which are the result of subsequent evolutionary processes will be a primary focus of the investigation.

EPOCh, Extrasolar Planet Observation and Characterization, used (Jan-Aug 2008) the Deep Impact high-resolution instrument (HRI) to observe stars with known transiting giant planets to characterize those planets and to search for others.

Significance to Solar System Exploration

At the heart of NASA's Solar System Exploration endeavor is the need to understand the origins of planets, asteroids, comets and objects in the Kuiper belt. The EPOXI mission may help define how the Solar System originated and how it is evolving. It will also study comets in further detail to determine possible conditions that prevailed in the early stages of Solar System formation. Because they originate from the frigid outer reaches of the Solar system, comets have changed very little, and might hold clues about what the Solar System consisted of at the time of its formation.

Last Updated: 7 April 2014


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