NASA Deep Impact Asteroid Probe Launched

Status Report From: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Posted: Wednesday, January 12, 2005

image The Deep Impact spacecraft lifted off on-time aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket from pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., at 1:47:08.574 p.m. EST. Deep Impact has successfully begun its mission to investigate comet Tempel 1.

Deep Impact is an ambitious mission aiming to accomplish the incredible: Blast a hole in Comet Tempel 1 in an effort to see what it's made of. Comets like Tempel 1 are thought to have existed since the early days of our Solar System. Scientists suspect that frozen within these celestial nomads are the same chemical building blocks that lead to the formation of water -- and life -- here on Earth. Do comets and our own planet have something in common? This clever mission could answer the question once and for all.

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