DEEP NEWS Newsletter for the Deep Impact mission Issue 5 - November 2003

Status Report From: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Posted: Wednesday, November 26, 2003

The Deep Impact spacecraft is expected to make a football stadium sized crater in Comet Tempel 1 on July 4 of 2005 making a large enough impact to be visible through telescopes on Earth. This is your chance to get all the latest news on our progress. For more information on the Deep Impact mission, visit:

SCIENCE UPDATE WITH PRINCIPAL IVNESTIGATOR, MIKE A'HEARN What's the latest progress on the Deep Impact mission? Dr. Mike A'Hearn gives an update.

PICTURE THIS! THE FLYBY SPACECRAFT See the latest image of our flyby spacecraft. Tom Yarnell of Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. keeps its progress moving forward.

STARRY STARRY NIGHT Do you know that you can look up into the sky and see some of the stars that the Deep Impact instruments will use to establish calibrations to measure Comet Tempel 1's size and shape?

PLANETARY SOCIETY SENDS THEIR NAMES TO COMET TEMPEL 1 The Planetary Society recently submitted all member names (over 71,000) to the Send Your Name to a Comet campaign and will now be part of the CD that will be attached to the impactor that makes a deep crater in Comet Tempel 1. Is your name there yet? If not, here's your chance to join the Planetary Society on their trip to a comet.

MEET HAROLD MONTOYA Harold used to wander fields when he was a kid looking for old pieces of lumber and parts of bikes and lawnmowers so he "could build stuff." Now he works for Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. where the Deep Impact spacecraft is being built. Did he know he'd end up building spacecraft? His mother has a picture he drew as a child showing himself riding a rocket to space. "How scary is that?" asks Harold.

ACTIVITIES FOR YOUTH AND COMMUNITY GROUPS Need an idea for your community family night or science fair? Here are some great Deep Impact activities and ideas for kids and families in your area.

BRAIN TWISTER - THE IMPACTOR SPACECRAFT LOST WEIGHT? If your job is to make as big a crater as possible in Comet Tempel 1, it makes sense to put as much mass into your projectile (our impactor spacecraft) as possible. Right? Recently, the impactor came up 10 kg (almost a 25 lb bag of flour) lighter than planned. Did the team add the extra weight back in? And if they did, where did they put it? The answer isn't as easy as you might think. Can you figure out what the team did? Here are your clues:

As the impactor is facing the comet, the back (aft) of the impactor is the part that came up light. The team realized some consequences of the weight loss during a spin balance test when they found that the loss had put the impactor out of balance. It is more important that the impactor be in balance than it is to have the extra weight. The electronics for the spacecraft are in the back half and the cratering mass is in the front (fore) half. For the answers, visit:

HEY KIDS. NEW PUZZLES! If you've already done the puzzles from last month, take a look at this month's new Famous Comets crossword and wordsearch puzzles.

QUESTIONS FROM YOU: HOW DID THE IDEA FOR THE DEEP IMPACT MISSION DEVELOP? Many of you have asked this question. So, take a look at our interview with science team member, Alan Delamere, and see how this remarkable mission came to be.

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. See or our mirror site at

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