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.