In this installment of NASA Now, you’ll meet spacecraft pilot and engineer Steven Wissler, who talks about the challenges of flying a spacecraft remotely from Earth and the excitement of being part of a team that discovers something new about comets.
The program focus is on the EPOXI flyby spacecraft. EPOXI is a recycling of the Deep Impact spacecraft, whose probe intentionally collided with comet Tempel 1 on July 4, 2005, revealing, for the first time, the inner material of a comet. Deep Impact returned to an Earth orbit where it was reprogrammed to rendezvous with a second comet, Hartley 2. After reprogramming, the spacecraft received a gravity assist from Earth and began its second life, dubbed EPOXI. The spacecraft incorporated the same trio of instruments used during the Deep Impact mission: two telescopes with digital imagers to record the encounter, and an infrared spectrometer.
Link to this NASA Now episode (must be logged into the NES Virtual Campus)
Link to other NASA Now events (must be logged into the NES Virtual Campus)
Link to the NES Virtual Campus home page.
2 thoughts on “NASA Now: EPOXI Flyby Spacecraft: Close Encounters of the Comet Kind”
Hey, anyone knows if EPOXI will have any new target? What is the mission status?
According to the EPOXI mission website, beginning some weeks after closest approach and continuing for several days, long enough to ensure that all data have been accurately recovered from spacecraft memory, any data not yet downlinked to Earth will be transferred. The Deep Impact flight system is then decommissioned and the spacecraft will continue to follow its endless orbit of the Sun.
Meanwhile, back on Earth, raw data will continue to be converted into products suitable for analysis and archiving.
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