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IPFS News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

NASA's comet-hunting spacecraft lost in space

•, By Sharon Gaudin
 The Deep Impact team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory called an end to the mission after losing contact with the spacecraft for more than a month. The last communication with the spacecraft, which was launched in January 2005, was on Aug. 8.

"Deep Impact has been a fantastic, long-lasting spacecraft that has produced far more data than we had planned," said Mike A'Hearn, NASA's Deep Impact principal investigator, in a statement. "It has revolutionized our understanding of comets and their activity."

The spacecraft gained scientific significance for sending back information about the surface and interior composition of comets, as well as data about other planets.

Deep Impact deployed a probe that was intentionally run over by a comet dubbed Tempel 1. The impact shot material from the comet's surface into space where the spacecraft could better analyze it with its telescopes and onboard scientific instruments.

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by Dennis Treybil
Entered on:

 Thank goodness that it wasn't given the name "Jupiter II"!

DC Treybil