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December 2003
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Newsletter Archive

Deep News
Newsletter for the Deep Impact mission
Issue 6
December 2003

The Deep Impact mission explores the inside of a comet using a targeted impactor spacecraft placed in the path of a comet in high speed orbit around the Sun. At impact a crater will form, replicating a natural planetary process. Imaging cameras and a spectrometer on the flyby spacecraft will record the event and peer into the crater, providing our first look inside seeking clues to the early solar system's composition. Data will be relayed to Earth for scientific analysis and public engagement. For more information on the Deep Impact mission, visit:

Science Update with Principal Investigator, Mike A'Hearn
What's the latest progress on the Deep Impact mission? Dr. Mike A'Hearn gives an update.

Season's Greetings
As we move into the winter season in the Northern Hemisphere on Earth, you may wonder whether comets have seasons too? Give it some thought and see how we explain it.

Picture this! The impactor spacecraft
See the latest image of our impactor spacecraft. Ron Gillard of Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. checks out the impactor prior to environmental testing early next year.

Mission Challenge: Where in Space is the Flyby Spacecraft?
We all know where the impactor will be at the time of impact... at the comet excavating a crater! But what about the flyby spacecraft? It's supposedly flying past the comet taking really cool pictures. How far away is it at the time of impact? Get out your calculator and refresh yourself on the Pythagorean theorem to get ready to figure out this challenge.

Time is Running Out
Be sure to send your name to the comet. The window closes at the end of January to have your name written to the CD-ROM that will travel to comet Tempel 1 and make a deep impact.
(NOTE: This campaign was closed in January 2004.)

Did you see our past Deep News Issues?
Visit to catch up on exciting past news from the Deep Impact mission.

The Deep Impact mission is a partnership among the University of Maryland (UMD), the California Institute of Technology's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Ball Aerospace and Technology Corp (BATC). Deep Impact is a NASA Discovery mission, eighth in a series of low-cost, highly focused space science investigations. See or our mirror site at

Happy holidays.

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Last Updated: 28 Jun 2010