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June 2004
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Newsletter Archive

Deep News
Newsletter for the Deep Impact mission
Issue 12
June 2004

The Deep Impact mission to make a deep crater in Comet Tempel 1 is nearing one year to encounter and the project team is continuing testing of the spacecraft. If you want an overview of this spectacular mission, visit our web sites at:

Picture This - How many pennies is that?
It's nearly the number of pennies it takes to match the mass of the copper portion of our impactor spacecraft. Why is a group of students collecting them? Take a look and see.

Update on Deep Impact
Once the spacecraft is stacked together, all systems are tested to make sure that the spacecraft will survive in space and that both impactor and flyby spacecraft will function properly. Monte Henderson tells us about the series of tests both spacecraft underwent during May.

Up Close and Personal - Meet Monte Henderson
He bikes up the mountains, skis down the slopes and does "dad things" with his kids. He grew up in the desert but wanted to be an oceanographer. What led him to a job in aerospace? Fate - the industry needed people with active security clearance which Monte had from a previous job.

Questions from you - Will there be observations of the comet impact from Earth?
The most spectacular images will come from the flyby spacecraft. But many ground-based telescopes will be collecting data in the optical and other wavelengths to complement the data from the flyby spacecraft. Details about the observing opportunities can be found at

Update on Pennies for Space Education
Remember the class collecting pennies to match the weight of the copper content in our impactor spacecraft? Well, they met their goal having drained the local bank of pennies. Visit for an update. We'll get another report from Dee Mclellan as she takes the funds from the pennies to their sister school in the Ukraine. Better take a traveler's check, Dee. Remember, only two carry-ons allowed.

Where is the Deep Impact team?
Aside from working long hours to get the mission ready for launch, many of the team also turned out at major events over the last couple of months. Project team members at the University of Maryland hosted a Deep Impact exhibit at Maryland Day with attendance at over 60,000. In mid-May, west coast project members hosted a Deep Impact exhibit at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Open House for over 35,000. Those visiting learned about comets, the Deep Impact mission and were able to see materials from the construction of the spacecraft. In the words of attendees - "Wow!"

More about the Deep Impact community - Solar System Ambassadors carry comets to the masses.
Who are the Solar System Ambassadors? They are 374 men and women across the country who bring the excitement of NASA space exploration to millions of people each year.

Comet Tempel 1's mass - How will we know?
How is the science team going to determine the mass of Comet Tempel 1? Ray Brown continues his article on the Deep Impact science objectives by telling us what the scientists are planning to do in order to find the comet's mass. If you haven't read Ray's earlier articles, go to

But if you are all caught up, then go straight to

What a Dish!
Recently, members of our Deep Impact project visited the Deep Space Network at Goldstone in California. There they craned their necks up at one of the 70-meter antennas that will receive the data from the moment of impact with Comet Tempel 1 and the period immediately following.

To learn more about the Deep Space Network, visit

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

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Last Updated: 28 Jun 2010