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View Full Version : Discussion: What's Next for Deep Impact?



Fraser
2005-Jul-21, 04:50 PM
SUMMARY: NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft completed its primary mission - excavating a crater in Comet Tempel 1 - on July 4. It was a smashing success, and the spacecraft is now disarmed, like a bee without its stinger. But the flyby spacecraft is still working great and looking for work. NASA is now encouraging proposals from scientists who have some good ideas about what Deep Impact could be used for next. Until a new goal is decided, the agency will put the spacecraft into a parking orbit in the vicinity of the inner planets.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/deep_impact_sixth_trajectory_correction_maneuver.h tml)

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

antoniseb
2005-Jul-21, 05:42 PM
I'm curious to know if it can be manuevered for a second fly-by of 9P/Tempel 1, in either 2011 or 2016/7. I'd really like a good look at the new crater, and think that would tell us more than seeing the nucleus of another short-period comet.

If that isn't possible, just touring around getting close images of as many asteroids and comets as possible is a good enough mission. Even seeing a bunch of sub-kilometer sized orbiting nuggets would be interesting.

VanderL
2005-Jul-21, 08:28 PM
I'd rather the NASA would publish the Deep Impact results than talking about this minor detail which could have been proposed, discussed and decided even before launch. I guess this can be called the "funding shuffle".

Cheers.

isferno
2005-Jul-21, 08:51 PM
Sometimes I'm looking at photos and do not directly see what is right in front of me, so I adjust them a bit in brightness, contrast and add a bit of color and hope some hidden meaning suddenly starts to make sense.

According to below picture i would assume the following:
- There is a large jetstream going to the right
- The comet exists out of two fused "comets".

Any ideas?

http://home.tiscali.nl/sfictie/deep2.jpg

antoniseb
2005-Jul-21, 09:13 PM
Originally posted by isferno@Jul 21 2005, 08:51 PM
According to below picture i would assume the following:
- There is a large jetstream going to the right
- The comet exists out of two fused "comets".
I see the join-line you're talking about, running from about eight oclock to two oclock across the face of this image. It could be a merger. Since the relative velocities of objects are much lower out where comets probably formed, a non-shattering collision seems possible. Asteroids in as close to the sun as the Earth slam into each other very destructively.

I've never calculated how far from the Sun (in a near circular planar orbit) something made of miles of rock or ice would need to be to tolerate a collision with a similar object with little loss of material from the impact, but I think that would be an intersting calculation to make. How different could the eccentricities be?

Duane
2005-Jul-21, 09:48 PM
Or it could be a conglomerate, much like an asteroid whose name I am too lazy to find right now.

Interesting catch there isferno.

Darrrius
2005-Jul-22, 08:52 AM
Originally posted by antoniseb@Jul 21 2005, 05:42 PM
I'm curious to know if it can be manuevered for a second fly-by of 9P/Tempel 1, in either 2011 or 2016/7. I'd really like a good look at the new crater, and think that would tell us more than seeing the nucleus of another short-period comet.


Me too! Did you hear back from the team? I understand you e-mail them to find out if this is a possibility.

antoniseb
2005-Jul-22, 12:17 PM
Originally posted by Darrrius@Jul 22 2005, 08:52 AM
Did you hear back from the team?
I heard back, but the message was useless. They basically sent me a link to the news release about the prospects for proposals for a followup mission, but no real data about whether what I was suggesting was possible, or even the orbital elements of the spacecraft in it's new orbit.

Nereid
2005-Jul-26, 10:03 PM
Originally posted by isferno
Any ideas?
Have you got hold of the FITS files? Did you crunch the data quantitatively?

If you've got the images with full bit-depth, and the appropriate digital image analysis apps, you should be able to characterise what you're 'seeing' quantitatively fairly easily (the error bars may be somewhat large, however).