Re: Today on SPACE.com --

From: Ralph McConahy (Ralph.McConahy@gsfc.nasa.gov)
Date: Thu Jan 13 2005 - 13:50:29 EST

  • Next message: David Brierley: "DMB Obs January 13"

    From earlier posts...
    
    Re: Deep Impact
    >>NASA's first mission to purposely destroy a spacecraft
    >>>>They seem to have forgotten the Ranger program
    
    The truth is, the Deep Impact spacecraft will not be destroyed. The
    spacecraft carries with it a 370 kg copper-tipped projectile that will be
    released and slammed into Comet Tempel 1. At the moment of projectile impact
    the spacecraft will be nearly 8,700 km from the comet, observing, capturing
    images, analyzing. As the spacecraft passes by the comet, about 14 minutes
    after projectile impact, it will have oriented itself so its hardened shield
    will protect it from any debris coming from the comet (either natural or
    caused by the impact). After fly-by, its high-res camera and other onboard
    instruments will continue to view the comet from its backside. If the
    spacecraft stays healthy it may be targeted to other comets to perform
    other, sans-projectile, missions.
    
    Sorry, no Ranger program here. Don't listen to everything you hear in the
    news :)
    
      Ralph McConahy
      38.3305N,  75.6967W, 8m MSL
    
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