DEEP NEWS Newsletter for the Deep Impact Mission Issue 3, September 2003

Status Report From: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Posted: Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Welcome to Deep News. You are one of over 8,000 people who signed up to hear all the latest news on the Deep Impact mission. This mission is the first to look deep beneath the surface of a comet by making a crater the size of a football stadium. For more information, visit the Deep Impact web site at

SCIENCE UPDATE WITH PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR DR. MIKE A'HEARN Dr. Mike A'Hearn writes to us again from the University of Maryland with the latest mission updates.

MEET LORNA HESS-FREY When she was a kid, she thought she would grow up to take care of big animals instead of big spacecraft. When she isn't designing the spacecraft's structural components, you might find her backpacking or skiing down a slope. Meet Lorna Hess-Frey.

NEW SPACE PLACE ACTIVITY FOR KIDS! Deep Impact launches new fun facts for kids through NASA Space Place.

Check out and find out why the Deep Impact mission is a little like a collision on a freeway.

PICTURE THIS - WHERE ARE SPACECRAFT BUILT? This month we feature a 360 degree view of the clean room at Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp where both the flyby spacecraft and the impactor are being built. Take a look at

COMET BRAIN TWISTER Okay - it's your job to convince yourself and your team mates that the camera on Deep Impact's two spacecraft actually work as expected. How will you do that? Consider your own camera. If it's brand new, how would you test it?

Here are your clues:

- Your cameras will end up in space so what should your testing area be like? - What kinds of precautions would you take with any expensive piece of equipment before you begin testing? - Take a guess at how you would test your own camera both to make sure it works and also to see if there are any problems. What do all the parts do? - Since this is a space camera, what kinds of people will you want around you to help with the testing?

For the answers, visit

FOR EDUCATORS: NASA SPECIAL AWARD TO DEEP IMPACT MODULE. NASA Office of Space Science has identified "Collaborative Decision Making" as an outstanding representation of Earth and space science education material. McREL designed this module that gives students the opportunity to meet the challenges of collaborating as a team to put a successful mission into space. The challenges are real and current for the Deep Impact science team. It provides inquiry, problem solving and team work. We have been invited to present the unit at a national training session. See

QUESTIONS FROM YOU: WHY IMPACT A COMET? THE DEEPER YOU GO, THE MORE YOU KNOW! Beneath the Earth's crust are many layers that change as you go deeper toward the core. Scientists are curious to know what lies beneath the surface of a comet. Is it similar to or compositionally different from its surface? Are there layers and is the outer layer hard like a crust? Only an impact mission can study the inside of a comet. The material deep beneath the surface probably hasn't changed as has the comet surface so we may see more pristine material providing clues about the formation of the solar system.


SEND YOUR NAME TO A COMET! If you haven't joined the over 270,000 people who have registered to have their name put on the side of the impactor that will make a huge crater in Comet Tempel 1, check out and sign up

before it's too late. We've provided an email with information you can send to your friends so they can sign up too at

DID YOU SEE OUR PAST DEEP NEWS ISSUES? Visit to catch up on exciting past news from the Deep Impact mission.

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.


or our mirror site at

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