Thank you for visiting the Deep Space 1 mission status information site, the most authoritative source in the solar system for information on this
technology validation mission. This message was logged in at 1:30 am Pacific
Time on Thursday, July 29.
Wednesday morning, just over half a day before Deep Space 1's planned
encounter with asteroid Braille, a temporary spacecraft problem caused
protective software to place DS1 in a predefined safe configuration. (The
technical term for this is Sun standby SSA.) The operations team responded
with extraordinary rapidity to return the spacecraft to its normal
operational configuration while determining how to resume the planned
collection of data. It made for an astonishingly exciting day, and a
spectacular finale to a remarkable mission!
Deep Space 1 passed by asteroid Braille at about 9:46 pm PDT on Wednesday at a speed of 15.5 km/s or nearly 35,000 miles/hour. The speed was more
than 50 times faster than a commercial jet and more than twice as fast as
the space shuttle.
As planned, the spacecraft returned only very limited data during the
flyby, as pointing its camera at the asteroid meant that it could not point
its antenna at Earth. Nevertheless, preliminary indications are that the
encounter went very well. The return of data is just now beginning, and
all the precious information should be on Earth by Friday.
Your extremely tired but ever-faithful correspondent will update this
recording over the weekend with details of what occurred and a preview of
Deep Space 1 is now more than 25% farther away from Earth than the Sun is and over 490 times as far as the moon. At this distance of over 188
million kilometers, or nearly 117 million miles, radio signals, traveling
at the universal limit of the speed of light, take 21 minutes to make the
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