National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Small Worlds, Big Discoveries Banner
Deep Space 1
DS1

Goals: Deep Space 1 was an engineering test flight for a dozen new technologies, including highly-efficient ion engines and autonomous navigation software. After its successful primary mission, scientists sent the spacecraft to get a close look -- the closest at the time -- at a comet's nucleus and structure.

Accomplishments: Despite the failure of a system that helped the spacecraft determine its orientation, the flyby was a success. Deep Space 1 -- dubbed the little spacecraft that could -- sent back excellent images and science data from a comet. Information from the flyby was used to plan several later comet missions.


Key Dates
24 Oct 1998:  Launch
Status: Successful
Fast Facts
DS1 Facts On its way to comet Borrelly, Deep Space 1 set a record at the time for the longest operating time on a spacecraft engine. (An ion engine similar to DS1's is shown at right.)

Deep Space 1 was dubbed the little spacecraft that could after completing a comet encounter without the use of a star tracker.

Because of Deep Space 1's technology testing, many future missions that would have been unaffordable or even impossible now are feasible.
Science & Technology Features
People Spotlight
Bonnie Buratti Bonnie Buratti
"The most important thing about being a scientist is that you are always on the forefront of knowledge, discovering new things." Read More...
Headlines
Links

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
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