MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE
JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
PASADENA, CALIF. 91109. TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011
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.