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IMAGE CAPTIONNovember 21, 1998

Using the 5-meter (200-inch) Hale telescope on Palomar Mountain, Jet Propulsion Laboratory astronomers captured this image of the Deep Space 1 spacecraft at a distance of 3.7 million kilometers (2.3 million miles) from Earth. Tracing a path against the constellation Gemini, the spacecraft is receding from Earth at a speed of 1.7 kilometers (1.1 miles) per second relative to Earth. The spacecraft, just 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) high, is 4 million times dimmer than the faintest star visible to the unaided eye. This image was obtained on November 16, 1998, 23 days after the spacecraft's launch from Cape Canaveral, FL. Top of the image is north. Each side of this square image is five arc-minutes, or approximately 0.08 of one degree.

Observers were Drs. Bonnie J. Buratti, Paul R. Weissman, Michael D. Hicks and Alain Doressoundiram. Jon Giorgini assisted with telescope-pointing predictions using JPL's Horizons online ephemeris system, an Internet-accessible computer program Giorgini developed that computes positions of objects in the solar as seen from any location on Earth. These predictions were based on orbit determination performed by the Deep Space 1 navigation team.

Deep Space 1 is the first mission under NASA's New Millennium Program testing new technologies for use on future science missions. Among its 12 new technologies are a xenon ion propulsion system, autonomous navigation, a high-efficiency solar array and a miniature camera/spectrometer.

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