View Full Version : Discussion: Deep Impact Arrives in Florida

2004-Oct-18, 05:43 PM
SUMMARY: NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft arrived at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and will now be prepared for its launch. If everything goes as planned, Deep Impact will lift off on December 30 atop a Delta rocket and then journey towards Comet Tempel 1. Its "impactor" spacecraft will smash into the comet on July 4, 2005, at a speed of 37,000 kph (23,000 mph), blasting out a crater hundreds of metres across. At the same time, its "flyby" spacecraft will record the event so scientists back on Earth can analyze the excavated material and get a better sense of what's inside a comet.

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

2004-Oct-18, 06:07 PM
Wow. :blink: This mission requires a lot of precise maneuvering. :ph34r: :wacko:

2004-Oct-18, 07:29 PM
This will be an interesting mission. One thing that's sort of cool about it is that we don't have to wait twelve years for a result.

I wonder how good a movie we'll get of the blast.

2004-Oct-18, 08:25 PM
How big is this "Deep Impact?"

2004-Oct-18, 09:52 PM
Have I been watching too many SciFi movies? Or does anyone else think that this activity is risky? Couldn't this impact divert the comet that might put it into a collision path with another object. If not us them some other unsuspecting world?

2004-Oct-19, 01:20 AM
Hello EOC watchers!

How big is Deep Impact? The "Full Story" sez: "the 820-pound 'impactor' hits the surface of the comet at approximately 23,000 miles per hour, the 3-by-3 foot projectile will create a crater several hundred feet in size."


Now if the mass of the comet is sufficiently large, concerns like niusteve's (and mine) are unfounded. I'm sure the chaps at NASA have done the math. Haven't they?


2004-Oct-19, 02:30 AM
sorry, grammer :) The evidence of life is already right here, on Earth i meant to say. Heck Im not a scientist, just a musician (but with common sense).. hehe.

2004-Oct-19, 12:58 PM
Originally posted by niusteve@Oct 18 2004, 09:52 PM
Have I been watching too many SciFi movies?
Yes, your fears are founded on the lame science of interesting plot-writers.
The impactor has a mass of less than half a ton. The comet is many cubic kilometers of ice, each with a mass of about a billion tons. How much do you think Comet Temple will have its path changed?

Note that its orbit never comes close to any planet.

some dude
2004-Oct-19, 03:21 PM
Yeah I talked to some well read engineering types over dinner last night and they reckon it poses absolutely no threat and no chance of course change... I guess its probably like a pebble hitting a bus.. Its not going to do much to the bus is it.

2004-Oct-19, 05:51 PM
Originally posted by some dude@Oct 19 2004, 03:21 PM
I guess its probably like a pebble hitting a bus.. Its not going to do much to the bus is it.
Right, It might crack the windshield, but it won't slow it down.

Perhaps a better analogy would be like having a high-speed copper bullet hit the payload of a giant dumptruck full of ice and gravel. You'll see some gravel kick up, but the driver won't detect that it happened.