Deep Impact mission
Käufl, Hans-Ulrich Infrared Instrumentation Department, European Southern Observatory, Garching bei München, Germany.
Last reviewed:February 2018
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- Comet 9P/Tempel 1
- Mission timeline
- Extended mission
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The first space mission to expose and study the material beneath the surface of a comet. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) Deep Impact spacecraft reached the comet 9P/Tempel 1 (hereafter Tempel 1) on July 4, 2005 (Fig. 1). The spacecraft separated into a fly-by probe and an impactor, the latter of which smashed into the comet’s nucleus. The impact created an artificial impact crater, ejecting a cloud of powdery material from Tempel 1‘s surface and interior. In a coordinated observation campaign, detailed scans of the impact and this material were obtained at wavelengths from radio waves to x-rays by the Deep Impact fly-by spacecraft itself, the Hubble Space Telescope, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft (then en route to its rendezvous with the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014), other satellites, and a network of all major astronomical observatories on Earth. See also: Comet; Hubble Space Telescope; Rosetta mission; Spitzer Space Telescope; Spacecraft structure
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