Saturday, July 02, 2005

Deep Sky Fireworks

This was great timing. The Deep Impact mission is scheduled to crash a 820-pound (371-kilogram) Impactor probe into Comet Tempel 1 on July 4th, so get the binoculars and telescope out.
This article is really interesting. (Fresh Comet Science is what they call it, as opposed to the stale stuff.) At the article posting yesterday afternoon, the spacecraft was still 1.7 million miles away from the comet but getting some good pictures already.
Rats! The impact is expected to take place past my bedtime early on July 4. Maybe we'll just be watching it played back on the many webcasts or on the NASA channel.

They offered a list to track Deep Impact’s progress on the web:

NASA has arranged to webcast a series of press briefings leading up to Deep Impact’s crash day, and will provide live mission coverage between July 3 and 4 on NASA TV.
These 2 paragraphs just make you want to grow those pointy Spock ears:
The mission is slated to crash an 820-pound (371-kilogram) Impactor probe into Comet Tempel 1 and record the event via a Flyby mothership. The impact is expected to take place at 1:52 a.m. EDT (0552 GMT) on July 4.

I’m pleased to report that both the Flyby and the Impactor spacecraft are ready for encounter operations,” Dave Spencer, Deep Impact’s mission manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), announced today at a mission briefing.

*Thanks for the heads up, Susan Frederick

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