Deep Impact Spacecraft Completes Rocket Burn

Artist's concept of the Deep Impact spacecraft Artist's concept of NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.
› Larger image
  • submit to reddit

October 04, 2012

Deep Impact Mission Status

PASADENA, Calif. - NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft completed a firing of its onboard rocket motors earlier today. The maneuver began at 1 p.m. PDT (4 p.m. EDT), lasted 71 seconds, and changed its velocity by 4.5 mph (2 meters per second). The rocket burn was performed to keep the venerable comet hunter's options open for yet another exploration of a solar system small body, this time a possible future visit to a small near-Earth asteroid called 2002 GT.

Deep Impact was launched in January 2005. On July 3, 2005, the spacecraft deployed an impactor that was "run over" by the nucleus of comet Tempel 1 on July 4 while the main spacecraft imaged the event. Sixteen days after that comet encounter, the Deep Impact team placed the spacecraft on a trajectory to complete a bonus mission. The extended mission of the Deep Impact spacecraft culminated in the successful flyby of comet Hartley 2 on Nov. 4, 2010.

To date, Deep Impact has traveled about 4.2 billion miles (6.75 billion kilometers) in space.

JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Deep Impact mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The mission is part of the Discovery Program managed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. The spacecraft was built for NASA by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo.

For more information about Deep Impact, visit: http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/deepimpact.

DC Agle 818-393-9011
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
agle@jpl.nasa.gov

Dwayne Brown 202-358-1726
NASA Headquarters, Washington
Dwayne.c.brown@nasa.gov

2012-313



NASA's Galileo spacecraft captured these four views of Jupiter as the last of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9's large fragments struck the planet. Looking Back at the Jupiter Crash 20 Years Later

› Read more

Planning for NASA's 2020 Mars rover envisions a basic structure that capitalizes on the design NASA Invites Public Comment on Mars 2020 Draft Environmental Impact Statement

› Read more

Large, Fresh Crater Surrounded by Smaller Craters NASA Mars Weathercam Helps Find Big New Crater

› Read more


Get JPL Updates
Sign Up for JPL UpdatesRegister today and receive up-to-the-minute e-mail alerts delivered directly to your inbox.
Sign Up for JPL Updates