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February 2005
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Newsletter Archive

Deep News
Newsletter for the Deep Impact mission
Issue 19
February 2005

On January 12, 2005 the Deep Impact spacecraft headed into space to begin its journey to Comet 9P Tempel 1 - for what purpose? One part of the twin spacecraft will collide with the comet to make a deep crater in its surface while the other spacecraft watches for 800 seconds. If you want the latest news on this incredible mission - read on! Then take a look at our web site at:

Picture This! - By the dawn's early light
This picture of the Deep Impact launch vehicle was taken during the early quiet hours of the morning by DC Agle, the mission's media representative before he moved on to work with the visiting press.

And Picture This! - Bye-Bye Deep Impact!
Take a look at our launch day scrapbook of activities surrounding the ascent of the Deep Impact spacecraft.

Great Expectations - Deep Impact on its way
At 1:47:08 EST, the Deep Impact spacecraft left Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral in Florida housed safely inside the Delta II launch vehicle provided by Boeing. Management for launch was under the supervision of Kennedy Space Center. What did the team expect to happen? If you didn't read last month's newsletter, take a look at what we expected during the spacecraft's first hour of flight:

What did happen? Data from the spacecraft showed that it had deployed, locked its solar panels and was receiving power having achieved proper orientation in space. Data also indicated that the spacecraft had gone to safe mode and was awaiting further instruction from the team on Earth. What is safe mode? Take a look at:

What can we see up there?
The Deep Impact team took the spacecraft instruments out for a test drive. If you aren't familiar with the instruments aboard the Deep Impact spacecraft, take a look at:

What were the results from each instrument? Take a look at:

What's going on with Deep Impact now?
Dave Spencer, Missions Manager for Deep Impact gives us an update on the mission.

More on Dave Spencer - Up Close and Personal
Meet Dave Spencer and find out how his first grade playground conversations about time and the edge of the universe finally led him to supervising the flight team in its efforts to guide the spacecraft to Comet Tempel 1.

Questions from you - Comet off course??
We've had lots of questions about the mission since the January launch and here are two of them and their answers.

Will the Deep Impact mission knock Comet Tempel 1 off its orbit path and send it toward Earth?

Are you using explosives to make the crater in Comet Tempel 1?

Educators launch into Deep Impact
One day before the launch of Deep Impact, 27 educators from across the country gathered at the Kennedy Space Educator Resource Center to learn answers to questions about the Deep Impact mission like:

  • How the crater might form when we collide with Comet Tempel 1
  • How to use storytelling and song in science
  • How to use a soon to be released Deep Impact web site to observe Comet Tempel 1 on a beginner, intermediate and advanced level
  • How to use all the great Deep Impact hands-on activities in your classroom

Next month, we'll feature some of the information from the workshop on our web site, so stay tuned.

Deep Impact comic book
Take a look at NASA's comic book about Deep Impact.

How do I get my own Deep Impact spacecraft?
We're glad you asked. You have three versions to choose from with our Deep Impact paper models at:

Can you do it? Ten-year old Dante build his basic model to share with his fifth grade class and is headed on to build the detailed model.

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

Deep Impact is a Discovery mission. For more information on the Discovery Program, visit:

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