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Technology - Launch Vehicle

Deep Impact Launch Vehicle

In order for the flight system to get to the comet, it had to be delivered into space. How did it get there? One idea was to have the Space Shuttle carry the Deep Impact flight system up like the Hubble Telescope was carried into space. But getting a ticket on the shuttle would have been very expensive. Instead, the Deep Impact mission utilized a Boeing Delta II rocket. Boeing rockets have put lots of NASA spacecraft like Deep Space 1, NEAR, Mars Climate Orbiter, Mars Polar Lander, STARDUST, FUSE, IMAGE and EO-1/SAC-C into space.

The Boeing Delta II 2925 rocket launched the dual spacecraft in January 2005. Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. worked closely with NASA and Boeing to interface the flight system with the launch vehicle and ensure that Deep Impact's Flight System fit within the Delta's 9.5-foot fairing.

This illustration shows components of the Boeing Delta II launch vehicle that will carry the Deep Impact Spacecraft.
Image at Left: This illustration shows components of the Boeing Delta II launch vehicle that will carry the Deep Impact Spacecraft on its mission.
Image credit: The Boeing Company

Deep Impact Launch Vehicle Illustration

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Last Updated: 28 Jun 2010