Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty
Blogs

Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

New Life for Stardust and Deep Impact

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

05-07-2007 13:04 CDT

Topics:

NASA announced on Tuesday that they have approved extended missions for two mothballed spacecraft, Stardust and Deep Impact. Stardust, which flew by comet Wild 2 in 2004 and returned samples to Earth in 2006, will be traveling on to visit Tempel 1, the comet that Deep Impact encountered last year. Stardust's is not the greatest camera ever launched into space but any camera is a good camera for the first return visit to a comet, as far as I'm concerned; nearly half of Tempel 1's nucleus was completely unresolved during the Deep Impact flyby, and the ejecta from the impact was so dusty that the spacecraft never got a good view of the impact crater it created so spectacularly. Hopefully the Stardust flyby will fill in some of those gaps. Deep Impact actually gets two investigations to perform during its extended mission. While it's on its way to an encounter with a previously unvisited comet, Boethin, which it will meet on December 5, 2008, Deep Impact will take advantage of the unfortunate blurring of its high-resolution camera optics to perform investigations of extrasolar planets. Now that's making lemonade from lemons.

While I'm pointing to updates on the website, check out A. J. S. Rayl's latest rover update, in which she covers Opportunity's impending toe-dip into Victoria crater, and this week's Planetary Radio interview with Dawn project system engineer Marc Rayman.

 
See other posts from July 2007

 

Or read more blog entries about:

Comments:

Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Blog Search

Essential Advocacy

Our Advocacy Program provides each Society member a voice in the process.

Funding is critical. The more we have, the more effective we can be, translating into more missions, more science, and more exploration.

Donate

Featured Images

NGC 4100
The Flaming Star Nebula (IC 405)
LDN 604 and GGD 30
Schiaparelli backshell and parachute landing location from HiRISE in color
More Images

Featured Video

The Planetary Post - Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot

Watch Now

Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Join The Planetary Society

Let’s explore the cosmos together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!